OUI Q3 2019 Update

10th October 2019

AI@Oxford round up, Oxford Cluster map launched and much more in OUI's regular update.

Welcome to the Oxford University Innovation Q3 2019 Update, your regular overview on innovation around Oxford and the surrounding cluster. Fun fact for this update: over half of the companies created by Oxford University in its 800+ year history have been founded in the past five years.

 

From the CEO

Regular readers of this update will be aware of explosive growth of the Oxford Cluster in recent years. However, ensuring this message is heard loud and clear both internally and around the world is essential to our long term goals and aspirations. To this end, OUI has been working hard this past quarter to promote the Oxford Cluster. AI@Oxford was a sold out success, demonstrating the heavyweight status of Oxford’s research and innovation in AI to a global audience. We’ve also presented what’s happening in innovation at the University Council Away Day, taking our story to the heart of University governance. OUI also led on the launch of a cluster map for Oxford, defining our ecosystem for the first time. Details are below.

Matt Perkins, CEO, Oxford University Innovation

 

Updates

A cluster map which both provides a flat map of resources in Oxford and an interactive overview of all the tech companies in the region has been launched in an initiative led by OUI with support from many of our friends in the ecosystem. OxfordCluster.com is now live, publicly available, and aims to become a one-stop shop for talent, media, investors, corporates and anyone else interested in the Oxford Cluster.

https://oxfordcluster.com/

OUI’s Richard Auburn penned a piece for World Dyslexia Day on discovering that he’s dyslexic six months ago. The L&V manager provides a frank account of his undiagnosed troubles with the condition in earlier life, and how he’s adapted since.

https://medium.com/oxford-university/discovering-im-dyslexic-be1042e706cc

The Student Entrepreneur Programme (StEP) kicked off this summer, providing 30 students with funding and access to University IP with a view to form companies over an intensive month-long training course with a chance to receive investment from OSI. StEP was a success, with multiple potential ventures coming out of it and partners OUI, OSI and the Foundry committing to a further two StEP cohorts in 2020.

https://innovation.ox.ac.uk/university-members/for-students/student-entrepreneurs-programme-step/

Not content with our burgeoning spinout cork collection, OUI is now planting trees for every company it creates at nearby Wytham Woods. The first in the ground, named Phil, was for Rogue Interrobang, launched earlier this year.

https://twitter.com/agnieszkasshoes/status/1171411940767338496?s=20

Oxford University companies raised £91.2m during Q3 of 2019 over 13 deals, £5.2m of which was at the seed stage.

OUI launched three companies during Q3, all of which were spinouts. They are:

  • Nucleome Therapeutics – molecular medicine platform technology
  • Lime Biosciences – DNA assembly
  • Gyreox – Drug discovery

If you are a journalist looking for more information on these companies, please contact Gregg Bayes-Brown.

Over Q3, Licencing & Ventures signed 28 deals, filed 13 new patents and received 101 new disclosures from Oxford University academics. Consulting Services signed 103 deals overall, deployed 100 consultants under those agreements and provided 91 clients with consultancy advice.

 

News

Oxford’s innovation output and the surrounding Oxford Cluster take centre stage in this Wall Street Journal feature on European university innovation.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/europes-old-universities-spin-out-new-tech-companies-11570613400

Rory Cellan-Jones visited AI@Oxford, interviewing a number of Oxford-based people working on AI in healthcare, including Michalis Papadakis, CEO of Oxford stroke diagnostic spinout Brainomix.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-49775349

Semmle, an Oxford-based spinout developing a code analysis tool, has been acquired by Microsoft-owned GitHub. Financial details of the round were not disclosed.

https://techcrunch.com/2019/09/18/github-acquires-code-analysis-tool-semmle/

The Telegraph have turned out a pair of articles discussing innovation at Oxford, and the links to Neil Woodford. The first is a general feature while the second includes comments on Oxford’s robustness post-Woodford from OUI’s Adam Stoten.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/2019/09/22/inside-oxford-universitys-spin-out-factory-grapples-woodford/

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/2019/09/22/woodford-debacle-triggers-storm-funding-problems-uk-tech-start/

Techworld examines the processes behind spinning out companies from universities, with mentions of OUI, OSI and comment from Gregg Bayes-Brown throughout.

https://www.techworld.com/business/university-spin-outs-processes-benefits-risks-of-system-3701752/

US-based universal flu vaccine startup Blue Water Vaccines, based on IP from the University, has landed its $7m seed. The company plans to use the funds to begin clinical studies.

http://www.finsmes.com/2019/07/blue-water-vaccines-completes-7m-seed-financing.html

Mixergy, a spinout developing smart boilers, is the lynchpin of a deal between Centrica and the National Grid to use the boilers to reduce energy burden on the grid.

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2019/sep/29/centrica-to-use-customers-hot-water-tanks-to-stop-blackouts

Data visualisation firm and the company providing the underlying tech for the Oxford Cluster Map, Zegami, has raised £1.25m. The investment will be used for ongoing commercialisation of the tech.

https://www.businesscloud.co.uk/news/oxford-university-spinout-zegami-secures-125m

Looking for cash for your biotech but don’t want to go via the VC? Adam Stoten joins a chorus of other voices suggesting alternatives in this LabioTech piece.

https://www.labiotech.eu/features/biotech-startups-alternative-funding/

The work of Professor Shoumo Bhattacharya in turning tick saliva into anti-inflammatory drugs sees yet another outing for the headline “from bugs to drugs”, this time in Phys.org. OUI has been working with Prof Bhattacharya through LAB282.

https://phys.org/news/2019-07-bugs-drugs.html

The launch of Oxford Brain Diagnostics is covered in this in-depth look at dementia detection methods in development by the FT’s Clive Cookson.

https://www.ft.com/content/2e202160-b927-11e9-8a88-aa6628ac896c

MoA Technologies, a spinout launched to tackle the global herbicide crisis, appeared out of stealth mode with £6.3m in series A funding over the summer. The cash will be used to take its most promising product candidates into production.

http://www.finsmes.com/2019/08/moa-technology-raises-6-3m-in-series-a-funding.html

Adam Stoten makes his third media appearance this quarter in a podcast on Careers in Drug Discovery. Check out what he had to say below.

https://anchor.fm/careers-in-discovery

 

Jobs

We’re looking for a Deputy Head of Operations to join us here at OUI. The role will entail overseeing our operations team, playing a pivotal role in leading our administrative and post-deal management activities.

https://innovation.ox.ac.uk/jobs/deputy-head-operations-team-manager/

If you’re looking for a job in a spinout, we recommend checking out OSI’s job board. 57 companies advertising 97 jobs in our portfolio companies, ranging from engineers to developers to managers to communicators. Check it out below:

https://jobs.oxfordsciencesinnovation.com/

 

Events

AI@Oxford may be over and the Oxford Innovation Society won’t return until 2020, but the OUI Innovation Bash continues unabated. Returning to its Tap Social home after a trip to Frevds in September, the next Bash will happen on the 30 October. Sponsored by Taylor Vinters, the Bash is an open invitation to anyone working in Oxford’s innovation community. Expect live music, free drinks, and a relaxed, friendly atmosphere to network in.

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/oui-innovation-bash-tickets-75843023525

Consulting Services are hosting an event for Medical Sciences academics on 16 October at the JR Hospital. If you’d like to know more about how OUI can make the most of your consultancy time, do drop in.

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/academic-consulting-in-the-medical-sciences-16th-oct-2019-tickets-67988261721

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