The team are a dedicated and accessible point of entry within the University for external organisations. Successful partnerships allow companies to benefit from access to the knowledge, talent and technologies co-developed with the University that can make a real difference to their business.
The team sit within the Mathematical, Physical and Life Sciences (MPLS) division at the University of Oxford and are engaging with companies to establish sustained and strategic relationships in an innovative and broad range of themes. Using their deep knowledge of the University and network of academic contacts, they can advise on and foster the creation of enduring partnerships through bespoke, often multi-disciplinary research propositions delivering on a partner organisation’s unique requirements by drawing on Oxford research (and company) strengths and resources.
In 2018 the University of Oxford and the National Trust announced a new research partnership, connecting innovative Oxford University research with the National Trust’s inspiring places and historic collections. Marking the first investment of this kind by the National Trust in any university, the partnership was fostered by Dr Murray Gardner of the IRP team and is creating new opportunities for interdisciplinary research, knowledge exchange, public engagement and training between the two organisations.
“The National Trust and Oxford University have a strong history of collaboration. This new partnership will create even more opportunities for bringing cutting-edge academic research into the stories we tell about the places and collections in our care” Hilary McGrady, Director-General National Trust
The partnership supports a range of workstreams including research placements and academic consultancy, conferences, workshops, lectures, training and public events. In the space sector, the University of Oxford and the Satellite Applications Catapult recently celebrated their successful 5-year strategic partnership. Dr Simon Jackman, Senior Innovation Fellow in the IRP team linked the Catapult with academics in the Physics and Engineering departments at Oxford. Working with the University has enabled the Catapult to commercialise a new satellite infrared instrument, which has led to new solutions in disaster management, oil spill attribution and deforestation monitoring. The partnership has also contributed to a range of activities at the University, including a recent quantum computing hackathon designed to start a new area of engagement between space companies, agencies and researchers.
The main sectors focused on for 2019 by the team are: ICT, AI and Creative Industries, Energy, Space Technology, Health and Life Sciences, Mobility and the UK Government’s Industrial Strategy. The team works seamlessly with its sister business development teams across the University (Medical Sciences, Social Sciences and Humanities), with other central service teams and with Oxford University Innovation (Technology Transfer Office). Each team can offer specialised services to facilitate innovation partnerships and industry involvement with the University.
Dr Christopher Jones Head of the Industrial Research Partnerships team Chris is head of the IRP team. His role is to understand the requirements of all industry sectors, promote industry engagement within the University and advise on structuring and delivering all types of R&D collaborations.
Dr Simon Jackman Space Technology Simon is a Senior Innovation fellow focused on the environment area and leads the University’s collaboration with the Satellite Applications Catapult and space related organisations.
Sarolta Palfi ICT and Creative Industries, Artificial Intelligence Sarolta is boosting cutting-edge research collaborations across the ICT and Creative Industries sectors. Her focus is on university-industry partnerships with technology providers to harness Oxford research strengths in AI/Machine Learning and immersive technologies.
Dr Andy Gilchrist Energy Andy is responsible for developing links in the energy sector; anything from finding fossil fuels, to how we use and generate electricity. He has an interest in bringing together Oxford’s Professors to maximise Oxford’s contribution to a carbon-free world. He helps companies find relevant research, facilitates in finding co-funded opportunities and liaises with the career’s office on student engagement.
Dr Deborah Spencer Deputy Head of the Industrial Research Partnerships team Deborah is Deputy Head of the team and is responsible for developing activities under the Industrial Strategy across the University. Her background is in life sciences; however, she works across sectors including engineering, chemistry and mathematics to support interdisciplinary projects. Many of these projects fall into the four Grand Challenge areas of the Industrial Strategy: The Ageing Society, AI and Data, Clean Growth and Future Mobility. Deborah has been leading on raising awareness of the Industrial Strategy opportunities externally to companies and specifically on how to engage with University research.
Dr James Semple James is establishing strategic partnerships with industry, leveraging Oxford’s research strengths in areas including Engineering, Mathematics, Materials Science and Physics. His current focus is in applications of research to sectors including novel sensors and computing paradigms. He has been working closely with the Said Business School to establish the Creative Destruction Lab at Oxford University to provide expert mentorship to early-stage science-based ventures from across the UK.
Dr Murray Gardner Health and Life Sciences Murray facilitates the interaction between companies and University of Oxford researchers active within the environmental sciences and biosciences; exploring new ways of working with companies and ensuring a broad approach to partnering Oxford’s research capability with the research and innovation needs of companies.
Creative Destruction Lab – Exciting new start-up programme comes to Oxford
A new partnership between the University of Oxford’s Said Business School and the Creative Destruction Lab (CDL) start-up programme has recently been announced in March 2019. Currently CDL operates at six universities across Canada and North America, and now for the first time the CDL programme will be available in the UK and in Europe.
Originally established at the University of Toronto, the CDL is a seed-stage programme for highly scalable science and technology-based ventures. The programme matches participating companies with a carefully selected group of senior mentors, including accomplished entrepreneurs, investors, scientists and business professors. The nine-month mentorship programme has proved to be highly successful: to date CDL has helped to nurture start-ups worth over £2 billion in equity value. Now both UK and European science-based founders will benefit from this innovative programme which helps commercialise ideas and scale businesses. Applications for CDL-Oxford opened in April 2019 for start-ups in the UK and beyond, and in the first year will focus on companies applying artificial intelligence to create new products and services.
If you’re interested in applying for a place on the CDL-Oxford programme please visit www.creativedestruction lab.com/locations/oxford/