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Our history

In the early days

In 1987, Oxford Innovation was set up by The Oxford Trust (now operating as Science Oxford), a charitable organisation promoting science and enterprise that was founded by local entrepreneurs and co-founders of Oxford Instruments plc, Sir Martin and Lady Audrey Wood.  

Europe’s first innovation centre, Oxford Centre for Innovation (OCFI), was pioneered by Oxford Innovation in 1987 and was initially set up in portakabins. Despite being ironically described by the Daily Telegraph as “the Oxford science slum”, the centre proved to be popular and in 1994, the Prince of Wales opened its new home in Mill Street, where it quickly became a model for us and others to replicate.

 

From strength to strength

Our network of centres has grown steadily since the early days and has included the launch of several prestigious centres managed on behalf of public and private sector clients. 

In 2006, Oxford Innovation merged with SQW and became part of SQW Group, then in 2010, SQW Group acquired the business development function of Fasset, a specialist operator of regional technology parks, positioning Oxford Innovation as the UK’s leading operator of Business & Innovation Centres.

 

Industry leaders

Today, Oxford Innovation manages 21 Business & Innovation Centres across the UK. With a strong commercial focus and an in depth understanding of economic and innovation eco systems, we provide public and private sector clients with a unique and sustainable approach to Business & Innovation Centre management.

This is supported by a recent research report, looking back at 10 years of Innovation Centre management.  For more information, visit the Business Survival and Growth Report page.