Oxford University Innovation Q2 2017 Update

Image from Oxford University Innovation Q2 2017 Update News Article

10th July 2017

In Q2 2017, Oxford companies raised £93m, OUI was named TTO of the Year, and the £1.2bn contribution to the global economy from Oxford's commercialisation capabilities was highlighted in a new report.

Message from the CEO

It has been a strong quarter for Oxford University Innovation, in which we saw our office’s contribution to the global economy highlighted and were named the leading technology transfer office worldwide. Over the past nine months I have engaged with the University and our innovation community to assess the OUI offer. I have taken feedback on board, and will be incorporating your comments as we embark on a period of evolution over the coming months.

A new era will commence for OUI in the next financial year as we change our funding model. In a move supported by the OUI board and the University, OUI will now be able to build cash reserves from its profits, enabling us to invest to play an ever more proactive role in the Oxford innovation ecosystem whilst moving closer to a fully self-sustaining operational mode.

– Dr Matt Perkins, Chief Executive Officer at OUI, July 2017.


In this report, you will find:

  • Q2 updates from OUI
  • Q2 activity
  • Reported deals for Q2
  • Notable licences
  • Other Oxford deals


Q2 updates from OUI

The strength and value of the University’s innovation ecosystem was demonstrated in a report showing that Oxford University contributes £7.1bn to the global economy every year, with the University’s commercialisation activities responsible for £1.2bn.

As of 2015, Oxford had generated 136 new spinout companies – more than any other UK university – boasting a combined global turnover of £600 million. Oxfordshire is home to 80 of these innovative companies, employing 1,886 people and contributing £132 million annually to the local economy, while 129 remain based in the UK.


In May, Oxford University Innovation (OUI) was named Technology Transfer Office of the Year by university innovation magazine Global University Venturing, marking the second time OUI has been highlighted as a world leader in the field.


LAB282, the drug discovery partnership between Oxford University, Evotec, and Oxford Sciences Innovation, has made its second round of awards. Collectively with the first round last quarter, LAB282 has now supported seven projects for acceleration since launching in November 2016.


OUI has been supporting Lest We Forget, a crowdfunding campaign aimed at digitising memories and memorabilia from WW1, throughout June. The campaign is running through until 19 of July. More details can be found through the link below.



Q2 activity

Oxford University companies raised £93m during Q2 of 2017, of which £3.9m was at the seed stage. In addition, £268,037 in translational funding was awarded.

During this period, OUI launched four spinout companies, including Oxford Quantum Circuits, the first quantum computing spinout to emerge from the University. Licencing & Ventures and Consulting Services signed a combined 184 deals, 18 patents were filed, and OUI received 117 disclosures from Oxford University academics.

The Oxford University Innovation Fund, the early-stage investment fund for OUI, has now invested a total of £3.9m into 16 companies. During Q2 2017, it added three new companies to its portfolio:

  • Ultromics
  • Cycle.Land (see below)
  • Oxford Quantum Circuits

The OUI Incubator has incorporated Cycle.Land, a bike sharing app. Cycle.Land completed its £356,000 seed round, which combined investment sourced from the crowdfunding platform Seedrs with participation from Parkwalk Advisors.

In Oxentia news, OUI’s global innovation consultancy group held its first Alliance of Technology Transfer Professionals accredited course in China. It has also partnered PWC on a Smart Factories project for new EU member states, focused on digital innovation hubs, as well as running the Oxford Medical Devices Accelerator Programme, continuing its long term partnership with the Malaysian government. Oxentia has also been making final preparations to become a separate legal entity, which will take place on August 1st 2017.

Clinical Outcomes had a record-breaking day for the team, signing 139 deals in an eight-hour period during April. In addition, the team are now offering translational services for Patient Clinical Outcomes, which will broaden the international impact of their products.


Reported spinout investment deals

DiffBlue, an Oxford University spinout company developing an artificial intelligence (AI) capable of writing code, has secured £17m in Series A funding. The round was led by Goldman Sachs Principal Strategic Investments, with participation from Oxford Sciences Innovation (OSI) and Oxford Technology and Innovations Fund (OTIF).


Zegami, an Oxford University analytics spinout company focused on image management, has raised £2.3m in Series A funding to develop its image search and analytics platform for the cloud and take its technology to the consumer market. The round was led by returning investor Oxford Sciences Innovation, and included Parkwalk Advisors.


Scenic Biotech BV, an international collaboration from Oxford University and the Netherlands Cancer Institute (NKI) that looks to tackle diseases on the genetic level, secured €6.5m (£5.7m) in Series A funding. Backers included Biogeneration Ventures, INKEF Capital and Oxford Sciences Innovation.



Other Oxford deals

Oxbotica, the autonomous vehicle spinout from Oxford University, has announced plans for the most ambitious self-driving vehicle trial worldwide to date. Leading the newly-formed DRIVEN consortium with £8.6m in grant funding, Oxbotica aims to trial an autonomous vehicle driving from central London to central Oxford unassisted by 2019.


Colwiz, an OUI incubator company developing a software-as-a-service for academic articles, and Oxford Gene Technology (OGT), a DNA technology spinout launched in 1997, both completed successful exits in the last week of May. Colwiz sold to publisher Taylor & Francis, while OGT sold to Sysmex.


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