The Oxford Trust, an independent charitable trust with a mission to encourage the pursuit of science, has appointed Nicki Campling as its new director of innovation and operations.
Nicki will work across the Trust’s two innovation centres: the Oxford Centre for Innovation in the city centre and the Wood Centre for Innovation in Headington which support more than 40 start-up and SME science-based companies through the provision of laboratories, office space, technical workspace and business support.
Nicki will also work with the renowned Science Oxford team, the Trust’s public-facing brand which runs STEM education and public engagement programmes, to oversee the operational requirements of the Science Oxford Centre.
The Oxford Trust currently employs 26 full- and part-time posts with an additional eight people employed through Oxford Innovation’s centre managing agents.
Nicki has more than 20 years’ experience and has joined from Barclays where she worked for eight years, with her most recent role as relationship manager for Barclays’ mid-corporate Thames Valley team.
Prior to that she was ecosystem manager for Barclays where she successfully launched Barclays Eagle Labs at the Wood Centre for Innovation in 2020 to help support small and scaling science and tech businesses.
Her previous roles have included financial and business development work, in particular work with start-ups and entrepreneurs across the Thames Valley.
As a member of The Oxford Trust’s senior leadership team, Nicki will be responsible for supporting, shaping, implementing and strengthening the charity’s core £3 million+ innovation portfolio to enhance its development and growth. The income from its innovation centres is reinvested into its Science Oxford education and public engagement programmes.
Steve Burgess, chief executive officer, The Oxford Trust said: “We warmly welcome Nicki to our brilliant and thriving team. Nicki’s background in start-up innovation and her strong understanding of Oxfordshire’s innovation ecosystem and why delivering engaging STEM programmes to school-aged children is vital, made her the perfect candidate.
“This role is important for the Trust to continue ensuring that it meets its charitable objectives to support the pursuit of science by embracing the city and county’s thriving entrepreneurial spirit and our all-important future scientists.
“The strength of our charitable business model is that it is self-sustaining and supports both ends of the science spectrum from inspiring young children about the wonders of science to helping science start-ups to develop and grow.
“We have no doubt that Nicki’s exceptional people and management skills will be of great benefit to our many companies in our two innovation centres and to the operation of the Science Oxford Centre.”
Nicki Campling, director of innovation and operations, The Oxford Trust added: “I’m thrilled to have joined The Oxford Trust team who I know well from our previous partnership working. Together we can continue to develop, support and build grass roots and early-stage STEM innovation in Oxfordshire’s world-class ecosystem.
“I am looking forward to bringing my knowledge and relationship management skills to our current and future customer base so that these businesses can thrive in a community and environment which supports them to continue making life-changing discoveries.”