Growing or scaling a business comes with its own set of challenges. At Oxford, there are different options available to suit your requirements:
- flexible building and letting at the Oxford Science Park
- flexible facilities in a unique research environment at Begbroke Science Park and the BioEscalator
- engagement with entrepreneurs, academics and students at the Entrepreneurship Centre
- facilities for science and technology based innovation and enterprise at The Harwell Science & Innovation campus
- office space and specialist business support services at Culham Science Centre
- local networks, regional and national government support for local businesses
The Oxford Innovation District Vision
The University of Oxford sits at the heart of a rapidly expanding innovation ecosystem. Our success as a University depends on leadership of and interaction with this ecosystem that allows our academics to collaborate more effectively with businesses and enables the dynamic growth of our spinouts and startups. A thriving innovation environment stimulates and stretches the entrepreneurial aspirations of our staff and students, and provides opportunities for co-production, partnerships and employment. Our vision is of a series of inter-connected innovation spaces, buildings and hubs which form the Oxford Innovation District helping to maximise the impact and application of our research, and which facilitate our commitments to innovation described in our 2018-2024 Strategic Plan (and its successors) and Knowledge Exchange Strategy 2021-2025.
Delivering our vision requires collaboration with local communities and many partners, and the availability of new innovation space carefully designed to encourage the entrepreneurial community and to catalyse collaboration. The joint venture established between the University and Legal and General provides an opportunity to design and build the innovation space and the districts in which they sit at accelerated pace.
Oxfordshire is one of the best economically performing regions of the UK and has unique assets to support national growth and develop solutions to the challenges facing society. Oxfordshire contributes £23bn to national output and delivers more gross value added, both per hour worked and per job filled, than the UK average, and has the most innovation activity in the UK. However, there is a chronic shortage of space and facilities suitable for high-growth innovative enterprises to start and progress, and for the co-location of academic research with business partners that is a typical feature of the most successful innovation clusters.
Our connected innovation district will provide a distinctive and compelling opportunity for innovative enterprises (regional, national and international) to work alongside the University in new and more effective ways, allowing our staff and students to work on some of the most important, difficult and impactful research problems that we face globally.
An Oxford Innovation District
The University’s mission is research, teaching and the dissemination of knowledge by every means. Innovation is an increasingly important mechanism to enhance all three. Our innovation district will have co-located working, studying and living based around a shared infrastructure.
The innovation district environment will provide a balance of elements that attract startups, scale-ups and spinouts, from inception through incubation to maturity, and provide an attractive and stimulating working environment for University researchers and the R&D functions of established commercial organisations. Hubs in the Oxford Innovation Districts at Begbroke (North), Headington (East), and along the cultural corridor from the Stephen A. Schwarzman Centre to Osney (West) will be fully integrated with the University’s core research and other innovation activities and will actively engage with other parts of Oxfordshire’s wider innovation infrastructure.
The University has committed to “embed equality, diversity and inclusion in all knowledge exchange” and to “increase the amount of the University's research that is socially driven and fully engaged with public, cultural or community groups from its inception”. We will work with local communities to achieve this and make new amenities available, including parks, cultural activities and catering facilities. The innovation district will be sympathetically integrated with complementary residential developments, including existing residential and other communities.
The development of the innovation district will be governed by and subject to sustainability guidelines and policies at least as demanding as those used by the University in other parts of its estate. Development plans will be imaginative in seeking to use and exploit the University’s own research and ideas for sustainability and biodiversity, and new approaches for achieving net zero carbon.
The Oxford Science Park
Oxford Science Park
Tel: +44 (0) 1865 784000
The Oxford Science Park is thriving as a centre of excellence for science, technology and business occupiers.
Its flexible approach to building and letting meets the ever-changing demands of businesses, from established organisations to fledgling companies.
Begbroke Science Park
Tel: +44 (0) 1865 283700
Oxford University Begbroke Science Park offers a unique environment where world-class scientists work alongside entrepreneurs and industry to translate cutting-edge research into commercial opportunities. The Centre for Innovation and Enterprise includes the AgileLab facility which provides affordable, shared wet-chemistry labs and office space for smaller Physical Sciences spinouts.
The management team are available to help companies strengthen their academic links.
The BioEscalator is a hub for new and developing life science innovations. It offers flexible lab space for your small and growing biomedical science company in the heart of Oxford, located on Old Road Campus alongside leading Oxford medical researchers and hospitals.
Tel: +44 (0) 1865 288 845
The Entrepreneurship Centre at the Saïd Business School offers businesses the opportunity to engage with academics, spin-outs and student entrepreneurs. Its programmes and events combine research and practical teaching to support entrepreneurs and high-growth companies.
The Harwell Science and Innovation Campus
Tel: +44 (0) 1235 250091
The Harwell Science and Innovation Campus just outside Oxford is a growing community of science and technology based innovation and enterprise, including major national and international science projects and facilities.
Culham Science Centre
Culham Science Centre combines world-class publicly funded research into fusion power, commercial technology organisations, and Culham Innovation Centre to create a powerhouse of high technology innovation and enterprise.
Culham Science Centre is owned and managed by the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority and is a partner in Science Vale UK.
Culham is also home to RACE (Remote Applications in Challenging Environments), set up to enable industry to apply research knowledge about productive fully remotely operated systems to a wide range of commercial situations.
Support for local businesses
We work closely with the Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (OxLEP) whose role is to champion Oxfordshire's economic potential and drive business growth, including inward investment through invest in Oxfordshire. It also provides a free service Oxfordshire Business Support.
The University is involved in the regional business networks: