Two of these have recently been given significant boosts which will provide the financial resource to support even more innovative proof of concept and new venture projects across the University.
A recent partnership with Oxford Sciences Innovation (OSI) will be providing an extra £5m of funding alongside £1.5m of existing University Challenge Seed Fund (UCSF) reserves to support projects over the next five years. The UCSF, now 20 years old, is an 'evergreen' fund through the conversion of awards into equity at the creation of a spinout company, or repayment of the award from proceeds of licensing to an existing company. The overall objective of the UCSF Scheme is to enable university researchers to achieve the successful transformation of research into a commercial success either through the creation of a spinout company or a commercial licence agreement. The initial £4m has grown to over £14m of awards over the last 20 years. The Oxford UCSF has invested in 259 projects so far, awards ranging in size from £2,500 to £250,000.
Since 2014 OUI and Parkwalk Advisors ('Parkwalk') have been working in collaboration to raise seed funding for spinout companies through the EIS structured University of Oxford Innovation Fund (UOIF). Over the last five years four funds have been raised which have invested £5.7m across 20 companies. In September this year, UOIF V raised over £2.6m for investment into Oxford spinout companies. This is the largest fund to date.
Both of these schemes have open calls and further information on the UCSF can be found here , and on the UOIF fund here. Information on other sources of translational funding can be found here. If you’re a researcher with an innovative research project looking for translational funding or investment in a spinout please get in touch with OUI.