The University of Oxford has reached the milestone of creating 300 companies based on research and ideas from students, staff and alumni.
The companies have raised over £6 billion in investment and created over 9,000 jobs. The milestone cements the University’s status as a global leader in research commercialisation and demonstrates its commitment to delivering positive world-changing impact.
The creation of 300 companies is a significant achievement for Oxford University and the UK's innovation ecosystem. Universities have a fundamental role in driving UK economic growth and in stimulating an entrepreneurial culture and ecosystem in Britain. We are immensely proud of our researchers and staff who support the translation of our research into impact, whose efforts bring benefits to our regional, national and global communities.
Professor Irene Tracey, Vice-Chancellor
Beginning with Oxford Instruments in 1959, the 300 companies span a wide range of sectors, including life sciences, AI, quantum computing, engineering, cleantech and energy, fintech, and software. The University and its research commercialisation arm, Oxford University Innovation, have supported founders in creating some of the UK’s most exciting technology firms which are contributing significantly to economic growth and development.
Matt Perkins, CEO of Oxford University Innovation, said: ‘We are proud to reach this milestone of creating 300 companies. Our goal is to support the development of innovative ideas from the University into impactful businesses that benefit society. This milestone is a testament to the dedication of our academics, the hard work of our team, and the strength of the Oxford innovation ecosystem.’
Of the 300 companies, over half have been created in the past decade, many catalysed by support from Oxford Science Enterprises (OSE), the independent investment company which founds, funds and builds companies from the University of Oxford. Since OSE’s creation in 2015, funding available for Oxford companies has risen dramatically; increasing from an average of £125m a year (2011-2015) to £880m per year (2018-2022).
Jim Wilkinson, Chief Financial Officer at Oxford Science Enterprises, said: ‘Investors from around the world have come to Oxford to back our companies, providing the crucial lifeblood necessary to scale Oxford companies at pace. This influx of capital has been met with a surge of talent and rapid development of infrastructure to support Oxford’s portfolio, and is positioning Oxford as the foundations for the UK’s ambitions to become a science superpower.’
The companies created by the University include research spinout companies bringing Oxford research to the wider world such as DNA sequencing firm Oxford Nanopore Technologies and autonomous vehicle firm Oxbotica, entrepreneurial startups exploring new business models and sectors including ID verification firm Onfido, and social ventures created to address some of the world’s most pressing challenges, such as SOPHIA’S work to fight poverty.