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As the UK’s leading provider of workspace that offers growth and innovation services, we’re building the future with innovation centres, jobs and income. We do this by partnering with and advising building owners, local authorities and knowledge institutions on the design, planning and running of business centres.

Founded by the Oxford Trust in 1987, we are now the UK's leading provider of innovation centres - flexible workspace and support for early stage science, technology and innovative SMEs.

Our founding mission was to provide three crucial areas of support for technology start-ups – as experienced by our founders Sir Martin and Lady Audrey Wood, when they spun out Oxford Instruments from the University of Oxford in the 1950’s. That was:

  • (Really) flexible and affordable workspace – whether that’s an office, workshop or laboratory
  • Access to funding that fills the gap between what an entrepreneur can raise themselves through family and friends and what a Venture Capital firm might fund
  • Support from highly qualified mentors, coaches and other entrepreneurs through part-funded business support programmes

Though much has changed in the past 30 years, our mission hasn’t, and along the way we have built up a wealth of experience and stories of success – for us and the SMEs we support.

Discover our story

Discover how we have developed Oxford Innovation from two portakabins in 1987, labeled the "Oxford Science Slum", to UK's leading provider in Innovation Centres, helping over 1,000 entrepreneurs develop and grow. 

Our Group

In 2006, SQW merged with Oxford Innovation to establish SQW Group. The Group brings together two market leaders in the fields of economic development and regeneration, technology commercialisation and business support for high-growth companies.

Our sister division, Oxford Innovation Services, provides practical support to help ambitious businesses and start-ups succeed. Through a team of over 35 business coaches they have worked with over 2,500 companies in the last three years.

Our sister company, SQW, are a leading independent provider of research, analysis and advice in economic and social development. They work with a wide range of clients across both public and private sectors.

Meet the makers

As innovators in the business growth and incubation sector, we deliver results by doing and seeing things differently. We also understand that our expertise in running innovation centres comes from our belief in collaboration, respect and challenging collective thinking.

Meet the makers

As innovators in the business growth and incubation sector, we deliver results by doing and seeing things differently. We also understand that our expertise in running innovation centres comes from our belief in collaboration, respect and challenging collective thinking.

Our clients include

Interested in finding out more?

Talk to our Business Development team about how we can help.

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