Oxford science projects get £67 million in funding

Chancellor George Osborne has announced a £67 million investment for four science business incubator projects in the Oxford area.

January 31, 2014

The projects will help small technology companies grow and bring products to market.

The fields earmarked for development under the scheme are advanced manufacturing, biomedical technology, technology for the construction industry and the research equipment. The cash will be split between sites in Culham, Harwell, Begbroke and Headington.

The government hope that the investment will help establish the Oxford region of production for high technology products. This in turn will attract further investment from industry, it said.

At least £30 million of the money for the projects will come from the government, which will be matched by further funds from industry, local authorities and universities.

As part of the scheme, £11 million will go to the Oxford Bioescalator in Headington, where small bioscience and medical technology companies share facilities and expertise. At least £7 million will go to the Harwell Research Centre to develop scientific machinery.

Almost £8 million will be used to support the expansion of a centre for excellence in engineering technology at Culham. The centre develops remote handling machinery used in the construction industry.

The final project will see £4 million used to build an “innovation accelerator” for small high technology manufacturing businesses on the Begbroke Science Park. The accelerator will cover specific technology areas including robotics, automotive, aerospace and superfast computers and is designed to help researchers get products ready for market. Additional funding for this project will come from the University of Oxford.

Commenting on the funding for the innovation accelerator, Andrew Hamilton, vice-chancellor of Oxford, said: “Creating a regional environment in which entrepreneurial activity can thrive is good for Oxfordshire and good for Oxford University in its mission to continue to attract the best students and researchers from around the world.”

He added that Oxford was already a “powerhouse of innovation and wealth creation” and recently ranking in the world’s top five hotspots for innovation. 

holly.else@tsledication.com

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