Oxford University Innovation Q4 and Y2018 Update

Update from Gregg Bayes-Brown, Marketing and Communications Manager, Oxford University Innovation Ltd.

We're kicking off 2019 with the news that we have broken our spinout creation record for a calendar year, adding 24 new companies in 2018 based on Oxford University research to our ever growing portfolio (the record was previously 21). While we’ll have to see what the year ahead brings, we broadly expect an upward trajectory as our social enterprise and lean spinout models come into their own. Already a European leader in creating companies from university research, it’s not entirely out of the question that we’ll soon be on par with our leading peers across the Atlantic. Add to this the news that our spinout companies raised a collective £546.9m in 2018 (taking us north of £2bn in external funding since 2011), and it’s clear that the Oxford Boom continues to grow and have impact within the Oxford innovation ecosystem.

 The main report is below: 

Oxford University Innovation Q4 and Y2018 Update

In this report, you will find:

  • OUI Updates and Activity
  • OUI in the news
  • Oxford University companies in the news
  • Events news

Message from the CEO

2018 was a great year for OUI, setting both records in spinout generation (24 companies) and external investment (£546.9m in 2018, over £2bn since 2011). We also relaunched the OUI incubator and instigated the social enterprise programme, both of which have been warmly welcomed by the Oxford innovation community. Looking forward, we intend to continue building, brick-by-brick, on this success with our Oxford cluster partners to create a world-leading innovation ecosystem with Oxford University at its heart.

Dr Matt Perkins, CEO, Oxford University Innovation.

OUI Updates and Q4 Activity

The OUI Incubator has been officially relaunched, complete with a refurbishment of facilities, a new deal on equity, an investor panel to improve access to early stage investment, and its new accelerator programme OUI Future Fusion. https://innovation.ox.ac.uk/news/oui-incubator-relaunch/

Oxford University has opened its China base for research and innovation, the Oxford Suzhou Centre for Advanced Research (OSCAR). OUI will be using the facility as a base for spinout companies looking for a beachhead into China. https://oscar.web.ox.ac.uk/

We’ve been turning out a good number of blogs over Q4 on Medium, including Adam Stoten calling into question the very same metrics that gives Oxford its number one world ranking, LAB282’s first two years of operation, and how our social ideas are having impact. There’s also a blog from Gregg Bayes-Brown rambling about what working in innovation at Oxford is like on LinkedIn. You can check them out the Medium blogs here: https://medium.com/@OxfordUniInnovation

Oxford University companies raised £135m during Q4 of 2018 over 19 deals,£3.3m of which was at the seed stage. Over 2018 calendar year, our companies raised £546.9m, bringing our total since 2011 to over £2bn.

OUI launched seven new spinouts in Q4 bringing 2018’s spinout total for the year to 24.

They are:

  • Ni20 – brain implants to treat disease
  • MacrophOx – Macrophages for cancer treatment
  • Sophia – a multi-dimensional poverty fighting index (and social enterprise)
  • Cortex Organics – developing a pure CBD molecule
  • OxStem Beta – part of the OxStem family, focused on diabetes
  • OxStem Immuno – part of the OxStem family, focused on chronic wounds

Over Q4, Licencing & Ventures signed 47 deals, filed 37 new patents and received 109 new disclosures from Oxford University academics, while Consulting Services signed 144 consultancy deals. The Y2018 totals were 165 L&V deals, 123 patents filed, 440 disclosures, and 496 consultancy deals.

OUI in the news

10 hottest startups coming out of Oxford

Ten of Oxford’s most promising new startups (both University-affiliated and our friends in the wider ecosystem) are profiled in this piece from Silicon Republic. OUI is mentioned for completing its 150th spinout earlier in 2018 (we’re on 170 now). https://www.siliconrepublic.com/start-ups/oxford-ai-biotech-pharma-autotech-entrepreneurs

Getting strategic on IP

OUI’s intellectual property superstar Mairi Gibbs is quoted in this report on the Managing IP Corporate Strategy Summit, noting both how effective management of IP helps the University have greater societal impact and attract talent to Oxford. http://www.managingip.com/Article/3844396/IP-Corporate-Strategy-A-glimpse-into-the-future.html

LABsolutley fabulous roll out for Evotec

The LAB drug discovery partnership model, started here in Oxford with LAB282, continues to be a hit in the wider world as LAB282 corporate partner Evotec continues to emulate its success in Oxford elsewhere. The latest partnership, LAB031, is with Sanofi in France. https://www.genengnews.com/news/sanofi-evotec-launch-new-bridge-partnership-to-accelerate-drug-discovery-2/

Optical memory cell clocks record data density

A collaboration between Oxford, Manchester and Munster has demonstrated a new technique for storing more data on an optical memory chip than has been previously possible. The team are working with OUI to develop commercial application for the findings. http://optics.org/news/9/12/35

Confusion emerges from Cocoon

OUI (and OSI) is mentioned as one of three possible partners in Oxford for mysterious Chinese fund Cocoon networks, after the fund launched our ecosystem peers at Oxford Innovation as a partner. For the record, neither OUI, OI or OSI have existing relations with Cocoon. https://www.businessinsider.com/chinese-fund-cocoon-networks-turmoil-after-firing-john-zai-2018-10?r=UK&IR=T

Oxford University companies in the news

Hexo Helmets make an impact

Hexo Helmets (previously OxHex), an Oxford University spinout developing 3D printed bicycle helmets, made numerous headlines in both national and cycling press with their launch in November. Customers scan their head with a smartphone, send the result to Hexo, and will receive a honeycomb helmet uniquely built for their head.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pmSBVTg9Mvg

Nanopore secures another £50m

Another quarter, another round for Oxford Nanopore. The Oxford unicorn developing handheld DNA sequencers received £50m from US biotech giant Amgen to further support the development of its technology.  https://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/2018/10/18/oxford-nanopore-secures-50m-amgen-develop-pocket-sizeddna-sequencer/

Vaccitech’s flu vaccine enters Phase IIb testing

Vaccitech, the Oxford spinout developing a ‘universal’ flu vaccine, has entered its Phase IIb trials for the vaccine after successfully passing safety tests in earlier trials. The Phase IIb trials, conducted in collaboration with Oxford University, will last anywhere between two to four years according to Vaccitech CEO Tom Evans. https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-health-flu-vaccine/oxford-team-to-test-universal-flu-vaccine-in-world-first-idUKKCN1C80RA

Oxbotica flags down deal with Addison Lee

Oxbotica, the Oxford company developing autonomous vehicle technology, has signed a deal with taxi company Addison Lee to launch a driverless taxi service in London. It is expected to be operational by 2021.  https://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/2018/10/22/oxbotica-plots-london-driverless-taxi-service-2021-deal-addison/

Wireless energy goes meta

Metaboards, an Oxford spinout bringing ubiquitous wireless energy charging to market, has received an in-depth write up in The Register. The company is planning to develop surfaces capable of charging numerous devices simultaneously.  https://www.theregister.co.uk/2018/12/13/oxford_startup_metamaterial_nextgen_charging/

Three spinouts named in top 100 fastest growing firms

Syndicate Room has published its annual list of the Top 100 Fastest Growing UK Companies, and highlighted three Oxford spinouts: First Light Fusion, Perspectum Diagnostics and OxSyBio. https://www.syndicateroom.com/guides-and-reports/100-fastest-growing-companies-uk

Ultromics partners on AI excellence

AI-powered medical imagine spinout Ultromics is a founding partner in the National Consortium of Intelligent Medical Imagine. The partnership, which includes the University and NHS trusts as well as industry partners, has £10m from Innovate UK to develop a platform that will support innovation in medical imaging. https://www.med-technews.com/news/ultromics-becomes-founding-partner-of-ai-centre-of-excellenc/

Cycle.land to get Youon a bike

If you’ve been thinking “what Oxford clearly needs is more dockless bikes”, you’re in luck as OUI incubator startup Cycle.land has partnered Chinese bike firm Youon, also known as Hellobike, to support its on-the-ground operations in Europe. Cycle.land has worked with the Council, the University and others to agree on a code of conduct for dockless bike operators moving into the area. https://techcrunch.com/2018/10/31/youon-expands-into-europe/

OxSight crystallises glasses

Smart-glasses for the sight impaired developer (and by far the spinout creating the most rogue enquires to the OUI press line) OxSight has launched OxSight Crystal, a much more streamlined version of its OxSight Prism glasses. https://www.aop.org.uk/ot/industry/eyewear-and-lenses/2018/11/28/oxsight-releases-new-crystal-device

Events News

The Oxford Innovation Society will next be taking place on 21 March 2019 at Merton College on the theme of Space and Satellites. Interested parties should contact Gregg Bayes-Brown.

The Oxford Angel Network will be convening next at the end of Feb/start of March, with full details to be confirmed. Interested investors should contact the OUI Investments team.  

The OUI comms team are partnering PUBlic Relations on an event in late April that will bring the spinout/startup community together with the PR/comms/marketing networks around Oxford. The event will provide both comms advice and a workshop for spinout/startup CEOs looking to better understand how comms works, and will also offer the opportunity to network directly with comms professionals. Interested parties should reach out to Gregg Bayes-Brown at Gregg.Bayes-Brown@innovation.ox.ac.uk

The Foundry have a number of events in the calendar for the upcoming term: 

  • Public Speaking workshops for students, faculty and staff, with world-acclaimed expert and author David Nihill (Feb 26 and 27)
  • Our AI Impact Weekend, which this year focuses on using AI to beat bias in HR/recruiting processes. Open to all students, especially the non-techie ones!      (Feb 8-10)
  • PLUS tech workshops on coding and machine learning, and masterclasses to help students explore their business ideas and develop their EQ

The Foundry will also be kicking off the All-Innovate competition, the University’s first ever inter-college ideas contest with 21 colleges having already opted in to participate. Applications open at the end of January, and students will have the chance to develop key skills and win cash prizes (total prize fund is £20k, courtesy of Santander Universities).

All the Foundry’s events are listed online here.

Gregg Bayes-Brown

Marketing and Communications Manager, Oxford University Innovation Ltd.