Funding for technology development
The University of Oxford maintains three funds to assist university researchers in transforming good research into good business. They allow university research to develop to the point where it can demonstrate commercial usefulness and secure further investment. The primary focus is the exploitation of science and engineering research outcomes. The university’s technology and research commercialisation company, Oxford University Innovation, manages the funds.
The University Challenge Seed Fund (UCSF) helps the commercialisation process. It provides funding for activities such as access to managerial skills, securing or enhancing intellectual property, supporting additional R&D, funding construction of prototypes, widening proven applications, preparing business plan covering legal costs and covering costs of external expertise. Oxford’s UCSF has invested in over 150 projects, with sums ranging from £2,500 to £250,000. It holds shares in 31 spin-outs which have attracted over £110m in total seed and venture capital investment.
The Oxford Invention Fund (OIF) supports maturing projects. It moves them to licensing or spin-out stage by investing in vital experimental data generation, prototyping or other proof-of-concept work. The OIF is supported by private donors wishing to see a return to the University from successful new business ventures. The OIF has raised £1.4 million since 2010.
The University of Oxford Isis Funds (UOIF) provide private investors with an opportunity to invest, as part of a blind fund, in early stage technology companies. It also supplies finance to ensure that companies have adequate resources for the initial stages of commercial product development.
Further information: University of Oxford translational funding