Introduction to Oxford University Innovation

Oxford University Innovation Ltd is the University of Oxford’s wholly owned technology transfer company. We were established in 1988, and in 1997 started a major expansion phase. Oxford University Innovation manages the University’s intellectual property portfolio, working with University researchers on identifying, protecting and marketing technologies through licensing, spin-out company formation, consulting, and material sales. Our name changed in 2016.

We provide researchers with commercial advice, fund patent applications and legal costs, negotiate exploitation and spin-out company agreements, and identify and manages consultancy opportunities. We work on projects from all areas of the University’s research activities: life sciences, physical sciences, social sciences, and humanities.

Patents and licensing

We file, on average, around two patent applications each week, manage a portfolio of over 2000 patents and existing applications, and enter around 100 licence agreements per year. We license technologies to companies who invest in developing and selling products in a timely and ethical manner. Licensees are sought from all technology and business sectors on an international basis.

Creating New Companies

We have assisted in the formation of more than 100 University spin-out companies since 1997, generating significant value in equity holdings for the University of Oxford. We also work with University researchers to develop new business opportunities, identifying and sourcing investment, management and professional services.


Our Consulting Services team offer access to the expert knowledge of University researchers and departmental services within the University. Our consulting services provide a professional service dedicated to finding cost effective solutions to consultancy needs. Areas of expertise include problem solving, data analysis, expert evaluation, due diligence, management, and business development.

Material Sales

We manage the negotiation of sales agreements for biological and physical science materials developed within the University.


The Oxford University Innovation Society, founded in 1990, enables industrial companies to benefit from our activities by having a ‘window’ on Oxford science. Members enjoy advance notification of all patent applications marketed by Oxford University Innovation, a regular newsletter, customised benefits, including seminars and needs analysis, and attend meetings and dinners, which provide a unique environment for constructive interaction between business leaders, investors, and top University scientists.

The Oxford Angels Network introduces private investors and seed/venture capitalists interested in investing in spin-out companies from the University of Oxford to investment opportunities. OAN is a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee, established by Oxford University Innovation in 1999. Members of OAN may also be interested in serving as non-executive directors, nominated by the University, on the boards of the new spin-out companies.

We have strong University links with all the parts of the University involved in technology commercialisation and enterprise. These include Research Services, Begbroke Science Park, and the Entrepreneurship Centre, and the LaunchPad at the Saïd Business School.

Isis Enterprise is a division of Oxford University Innovation, offering consulting expertise and advice in technology transfer, based upon Oxford University Innovation Ltd’s success as Oxford University’s technology transfer company. Isis Enterprise helps universities, research organisations, and governments develop their technology transfer activities.

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