All organisations must start somewhere, for Oxford Innovation our roots lie in the first commercial spin-out from Oxford University - Oxford Instruments PLC. Founded in 1959 by Sir Martin and Lady Audrey Wood, their experience of developing a spin-out company revealed the challenges faced by entrepreneurs and inspired them to set up The Oxford Trust, a charitable trust which continues to support the region’s science and technology ecosystem today. Through the problems they unearthed and their work with the Oxford Trust, in 1987 Oxford Innovation was born.

Since then, we have supported over 7,000 SMEs to become sustainable businesses, creating high value jobs, innovative products and services and as a result, enhanced local economies. Having started with a couple of port-a-cabins in Osney Mead, Oxford, we now manage the UK’s largest network of innovation centres housing over 1,000 innovative early stage businesses.

So much more is still to come from Oxford Innovation, and we look forward to updating you on our business journey in the weeks, months and years to come.

History & Heritage

Oxford Innovation has roots in the first commercial spin-out from Oxford University - Oxford Instruments PLC. Founded in 1959 by Martin and Audrey Wood, their experience of developing a spin-out company revealed the challenges faced by entrepreneurs and inspired them to set up The Oxford Trust, a charitable trust which continues to support the region’s science and technology ecosystem and through which Oxford Innovation was born in 1987.

Since then, we have supported over 7,000 SMEs to become sustainable businesses, creating high value jobs, innovative products and services and as a result, enhanced local economies

30 years of innovation and growth

Our first incubation space: Osney Mead 1987

The Oxford Trust opens Science, Technology and Enterprise Project (STEP) centre in old industrial buildings in Osney Mead with only three employees.

Coaching our business
to grow

 

As the leading operator of incubation space and suitable environments for businesses to prosper, we identify businesses with growth potential and deliver the bespoke support that they need to scale up. By improving commercial competency, businesses become more resilient, create jobs and generate wealth.

Our latest Innovation Centre: Knowledge Gateway in Colchester, Essex

A home for early stage and start-up technology companies, in a thriving research & technology community with access to the University of Essex research, expertise and on-campus facilities.

Read our success stories

We have worked with over 7,000 businesses across all sectors, providing incubation space and bespoke dedicated business support. Our network of 23 Innovation Centres, dedicated business coaches and specialists operating across UK provide start-up and established growth businesses with assistance in their growth plans to scale their activities.

Our case studies demonstrate the impact our support has generated.

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