About Oxford BioEscalator
After a programme of development, the University of Oxford’s Old Road Campus in Headington now houses one of the largest concentrations of biomedical expertise in the world. Part of the next phase of exciting capital projects will be the new BioEscalator building, which will be a hub for the commercialisation of bioscience and medical research and innovation in Oxford. The aim is to help more innovative ideas to move out of the lab and into the clinic and in doing so to realise the potential of the world-class research and expertise in Oxford. It will be a key meeting point for entrepreneurial researchers, clinicians, medical entrepreneurs and a wide range of bioscience companies, and the Oxford Biodesign Programme hopes to move to the BioEscalator during 2017.
This unique project, involving a consortium of stakeholders, will catalyse the translation and commercialisation of the university's fundamental and clinical research for the benefit of patients and society. The university is doing everything possible to identify new treatments for many chronic diseases, including Alzheimer's, diabetes, cancer, inflammatory and many 'rare' diseases. The BioEscalator, by bringing together university and hospital scientists, many industries, funding organisations, investment communities, patient groups and entrepreneurs, will accelerate the creation of many new companies, and with it jobs in Oxfordshire. Public space within the BioEscalator will encourage interactions and networking opportunities for emerging businesses, established enterprises, researchers, entrepreneurs, and investors that will foster entrepreneurship and commercial developments and help business ideas in this sector to emerge, start-up, grow and move onto larger science parks in the region.
The BioEscalator will be purpose-built on the Old Road Campus, housed within the new amenities building. There will be communal space for networking, meetings, hot-desking and shared laboratory space for anyone interested in the commercialisation of medical and bioscience research. For University researchers, the BioEscalator will be a focal point for interacting with bioscience industry and to form contacts and collaborations. The BioEscalator staff will be available to University researchers for facilitation and advice.
For start-up companies there will be a range of services as well as laboratory and office space. Priority will be given to companies that have an overlap in interest with the University’s research and it is expected that some of the University’s own spin-outs will be particularly attracted to the BioEscalator.
The BioEscalator was initiated in response to needs expressed by academic researchers and bioscience companies wanting to engage with the University. £11m of funding has been provided by central government via the City Deal and there will also be a contribution from the University. It will be one of four new innovation centres in Oxfordshire (two in Oxford: the BioEscalator and the Begbroke Accelerator, and one each at Harwell and Culham); the City Deal is also providing funding for road improvements, business support and skills.
Oxford University Pro-vice-chancellor Prof Ian Walmsley said: “The BioEscalator will provide the necessary space, support and guidance to nascent and new spin-out companies to give them the best chance to grow and become viable companies ready to move on to one of Oxford’s science parks. “Importantly, by keeping innovations within the university for longer before spinning out, they will have a demonstrably higher chance of developing into sustainable companies.”
Old Road Campus
University of Oxford
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