Isis Innovation, the University's wholly-owned technology transfer company, was founded in 1988, and has pioneered the successful commercial exploitation of academic research and invention. It is now the most successful university technology transfer company in the UK, filing, on average, one new patent per week.
- More than 60 Oxford spin-out companies have been formed, beginning with Oxford Instruments in 1959, which today is a global leader in advanced instrumentation, employing over 1,500 people in 16 countries. Its products are used world-wide for scientific research, analysis and healthcare, and the company has been listed on the London Stock Exchange since 1983.
- The combined value of Oxford's spin-out companies has reached £2 billion, using quoted market capitalisations and investor valuations for unquoted companies.
- The creation of these new spin-out companies benefits local economic development and has created many new jobs in the region.
The companies have spun out from a variety of departments and are developing a broad range of innovative products and technologies, including:
- drugs technology based on the body's natural biological response to oxygen deficiency (Reox, 2003)
- artificial high performance fibres based on the principles used by spiders and insects (Spinox, 2002)
- realistic character animation for games and films based on biology and computer science (NaturalMotion, 2001)
- test strips which give instant diagnoses from a single drop of blood (Oxford Biosensors, 2000)
- computer games which help deaf children (Mindweavers, 2000)
The University's Challenge Seed Fund (UCSF), managed by Isis Innovation, was named University Challenge Fund of the Year 2003 at the Investor Allstars Awards, run by corporate finance advisers GP Capital. The Fund has helped to kick-start several spin-out companies and fostered the commercialisation of research, investing £4m since its launch in 1999.
Begbroke Science Park offers space for emerging science and technology companies to grow, close to the heart of the University. In addition, the Centre for Innovation and Enterprise provides serviced office and laboratory accommodation for high-tech start up companies, and the Institute of Advanced Technologies houses applied, interdisciplinary University research. All of this activity is coordinated with the main science area.