The University of Oxford has produced some of Britain’s greatest minds, and to help in its quest to stay at the forefront of technological innovation, the institution’s commercial arm has set up a £300 million ($475 million) fund to develop and bring to market companies based on the university’s scientific research.
A new partnership between Isis Innovation, Oxford’s technology transfer subsidiary responsible for protecting and commercializing its research and resulting technologies, and the newly formed Oxford Sciences Innovation (OSI) will seek to support spinout companies from the university.
OSI has been set up with the express purpose of taking on capital from investors who wish to fund companies forming from the university’s mathematical, physical, life sciences, and medical sciences divisions. Part of this will entail supporting the formation of intellectual property-backed businesses, with investments and advice provided as part of the package.
Of the proposed final fund, £210 million ($330 million) is in the pot already courtesy of Invesco Asset Management Limited, IP Group, Lansdowne Partners (UK), Oxford University Endowment Fund, the Wellcome Trust, and Woodford Investment Management.
Today’s news comes eight months after Dark Blue Labs and Vision Factory, two machine-learning and computer vision companies, were acquired by Google after spinning out from the University of Oxford.
Since 2000, Isis says it has helped set up more than 100 commercial companies based on research and technology from the University of Oxford, including Oxford Nanopore Technologies and NaturalMotion, both of which are valued at more than £200 million ($315 million). Other notable companies include Oxford Immunotec, which is listed on the NASDAQ.