Medical Sciences and Oxford University Innovation
Basic research often leads to the creation of new inventions, know-how and expertise that are of value to other organisations, business and industry. Oxford University Innovation can help with the commercial exploitation of such intellectual property and expertise.
Licensing and Ventures
We have a large team of Licensing and Ventures professionals experienced in many areas of the medical sciences including drug discovery, vaccine development, genetics, cell biology, medical devices and patient reported outcome measures. Our team offers a range of services to researchers including assessing the commercial potential of research outcomes, advising on patent strategy to fit with publication plans, negotiating IP licensing contracts, identifying sources of translational funding and investment for spinout companies, and supporting student entrepreneurship activities.
Our Consulting Services team supports researchers wishing to undertake consultancies and supports departments wishing to provide technical services. They offer a professional service to reduce hassle for researchers in arranging such contracts. You can also find more information and case studies on consulting projects within Medical Sciences in our brochure.
Contacting Oxford University Innovation
We welcome questions about intellectual property, potential patents or consultancy arrangements at any time, and the earlier the better when it comes to patenting and discuss any commercial interactions or projects and ventures you may be considering.
Part of the Wider Research Support Network
Oxford University Innovation works closely with colleagues in Research Services (RS) to ensure that the IP we market is able to be successfully exploited. RS’s Divisional Teams consult with our colleagues and work with researchers when drafting research contracts and aim for appropriate IP terms. When Invention Disclosures are made to us, the RS IP Rights Management Team examines who owns the IP and the associated rights, and ensures the terms and conditions of any associated research funders are recognised and respected.
We also work closely with colleagues in the wider Research Facilitation and Knowledge Exchange networks, including the divisional Business Development team and departmental Research Facilitators, to foster closer links with external organisations. The collective aim is to encourage long term collaborations and alliances, including the creation and exploitation of IP. Oxford University Innovation, RS, and other colleagues help to promote the benefits of Oxford research and the impacts of new knowledge, products and services.
We appreciate the importance of encouraging and supporting entrepreneurial activities amongst not only experienced researchers, but also those earlier in their careers. With this in mind, we work closely with organisations such as Oxford Entrepreneurs (the University’s student entrepreneurship association) and the Innovation Forum.
Translational funding is used to bridge a gap in development between the early stage technology that is often an output of university research, and the point at which such technology is sufficiently validated for companies or investors to develop it for commercial use.
The University of Oxford, through Oxford University Innovation, has provided a number of proof-of-concept funds for this purpose. Since 1999, the University of Oxford has offered innovation grant funding via, the University Challenge Seed Fund and the Oxford Invention Fund. These funds provide grants to support researchers across the innovation gap. These funds finance activities such as prototyping, market research and investigations into the potential for commercial scale up. Researchers are able to apply for funding of up to £250,000 in grant support up to the point of a spinout company being formed. Please contact email@example.com to find out more.
The Knowledge Exchange team in RS also maintains a list of funding opportunities.
Many research funders also have translational award schemes including the Research Councils (e.g. BBSRC, MRC and EPSRC), the Wellcome Trust, Cancer Research UK, and the Royal Society. Most of these schemes require Technology Transfer Office input and a separate letter of support, so early engagement with us is welcomed. Typically there are several funding deadlines per year for each award scheme and Oxford University Innovation staff can advise on what funding schemes may be appropriate for a given project.
Who to contact at Oxford University Innovation
Dr Simon Warner
Head of Licensing & Ventures – Life Science
Simon has over twenty-five years’ experience in commercial Biotechnology in various roles, raising venture capital, securing strategic partners and philanthropic funding sources. He joined Oxford University Innovation in 2021 as Head of Licensing and Ventures, Life Sciences.
Intellectual Property, Patents and Licences
A a guide to how we work with researchers to identify, evaluate, market and license inventions.
Starting a Spin-out Company
A guide to the issues and processes involved in setting up a new spin-out company.
A guide through the process of establishing an entrepreneurial software venture.
Bringing Oxford University Innovation closer to researchers
Oxford University Innovation is now using hot desks in Oxford University departments in addition to our established departmental hot desks (or drop in sessions).
The academic consultancy arm of the University and a division of Oxford University Innovation.
Managing the provision and support of high quality clinical outcome assessment.