Oxford Trust secures keys to new Innovation Centre

(Left to right) Matt Francis, Project Operations Director, The Oxford Trust, with Rosie Miller, Assistant Centre Manager and Mike Foster, Centre Director

The keys have been handed over to an innovation centre geared up to propel Oxfordshire’s early-stage science, technology and digital health start-ups to success.

The stunning Wood Centre for Innovation (WCFI) is located in 18 acres of woodland at Stansfeld Park in Headington Quarry. The new centre provides 25,000 sq ft of purpose-built contemporary office space for start-up and grown-on companies specialising in science and technology.

Picture: Ric Mellis

Representatives from The Oxford Trust, the building’s owners, handed the keys to Oxford Innovation, the UK’s leading operator of innovation centres, who will manage the centre.

The centre is now open to entrepreneurs and fledgling businesses working in the bioscience and health industries  which, as well as up to 18 offices, will provide meeting rooms for up to 20 people, a 120-seater auditorium, video and conferencing facilities, an on-site café and an outdoor eating area.

The centre is close to world-class bioscience facilities, laboratories, clinical research facilities and hospitals and research centres, providing an ideal location for health and technology businesses.

Centre Director Mike Foster, from Oxford Innovation, said: “We are offering a conducive space to help propel early-stage science, technology digital health companies to growth and success.”

“We are within touching distance of the city’s fast-growing health and data sciences quarter, providing the ideal platform for businesses working in these industries.”

The University of Oxford’s Old Road Campus is a 10-minute walk away, while BioEscalator, Big Data Institute, Botnar Research Centre as well as Nuffield Department of Medicine, Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, Cancer Research UK, Jenner Institute, Kennedy Institute for Rheumatology and NIHR Oxford Health Biomedical Research Centre are all close by.

The John Radcliffe Hospital is a 10-minute bike ride away and the Oxford Centre for Functional MRI, MRC Weatherall Institute and Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences are also near to the centre.

The Oxford Trust took the leasehold on the 18-acre site, a former outdoor education centre, back in 2016. The Oxford Trust received the keys to neighbouring Science Oxford Centre earlier this month.

Steve Burgess, CEO of the Oxford Trust, said: “Our mission – as established by Sir Martin and Lady Wood back in 1985 when they founded the Trust – is to encourage the pursuit of science and enterprise and it has been a long-held dream to develop a site that helps us do just that. The new innovation centre will enable us to add capacity to Oxfordshire’s dynamic innovation ecosystem.”

The WCFI will be Oxford Innovation’s 23rd building in the UK. It will be partnered with Oxford Centre For Innovation, based in New Road in central Oxford, enabling sharing of resources and providing a venue for city centre meetings.