Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

About the Royal Society Entrepreneur in Residence (EiR) scheme

The Royal Society Entrepreneur in Residence (EiR) scheme, part of the Science, Industry and Translation programme, aims to increase the knowledge and awareness in UK universities of cutting edge industrial science, research and innovation. The successful applicants are funded to spend 20% of their time over two years with their host university and collaborators, sharing their experiences to help mentor and support students and academics. The scheme has now funded 65 placements in 38 universities across the UK since its inception in 2018. 

Read more on the Royal Society website


Oliver Harrison

In January 2024, the Translational Research Office (TRO) welcomed Dr Oliver Harrison, Founder-CEO of Koa Health as the 2024 Royal Society Entrepreneur in Residence, MSD, Oxford. Oliver will be working closely with the TRO and key stakeholders across the University of Oxford's innovation ecosystem.

Recognising the growth and impact of artificial intelligence (AI) in healthcare, the significant potential of the technology, and the increased pipeline of emerging AI based technologies within Oxford, Oliver will work with the TRO and key offices of Oxford’s innovation ecosystem to build capacity of AI in healthcare and digital health. Oliver will seek to support innovation in the AI and digital health and improve healthcare outcomes by educating the next generation of early career researchers and entrepreneurs with the skills required to excel in this field.

Oliver will lead initiatives cross-divisionally to provide Oxford researchers with indispensable support through the creation of a knowledge superhub and a network connector resource to be proficient in various aspects of developing technologies in AI and digital health spanning across various modalities (drug discovery, medical diagnostic devices, and clinical decision tools). The ultimate aim will be to forge a self-sustaining environment for researchers to explore the commercial potential of their work, collaborate with industry experts and key decision makers, and navigate the complex landscape of entrepreneurship in the AI arena.

Oliver is excited by the potential for technology including AI to transform healthcare and enthusiastic to see the UK “punch at its weight” in developing the worldwide market opportunity. This role as the Royal Society EiR will enable Oliver to help Oxford University to realise this potential, providing benefits to faculty, students, other team members, investors, and – ultimately – to the people we all serve through better healthcare services in the UK and beyond.

In his role, Oliver will aim to:

  • Provide holistic strategies in fostering interdepartmental collaboration within the AI research communities and where technologies can be implemented
  • Support the development of processes and training for execution of tools in the healthcare setting
  • Support the development of regulatory strategies and commercialisation within the AI and digital health space
  • Help design and implement a digital technology infrastructure for research translation in this field
  • Enhance training and engagement with the wider Oxford community on data integration and clinical data access


Oliver is a global leader in healthcare technology and innovation with a proven track record of building teams and delivering healthcare impact at population scale. Trained as a medical doctor at Cambridge and UCL, Oliver started his specialist training in Psychiatry at Imperial College and completed a Masters in Public Health at Johns Hopkins. Oliver first became interested in the potential of digital technology to extend access to mental healthcare services working in NHS Psychiatry and his dedication to a career in digital health was further galvanised by losing two close friends who were on long NHS waitlists for depression treatment.

After 5 years at McKinsey & Company (a management consultancy firm) in the Health Technology practice, Oliver was recruited to the Middle East in 2006 to help build a new healthcare system, and spent seven years using data to deliver population health impact in Abu Dhabi, with considerable published success. Moving back to the UK in 2013, he was asked to build a new healthcare business in a new European incubator built as a “European Google X” by Telefonica, the giant global telecommunications company that owns O2 UK. Having spun-out from Telefonica in October 2020, Oliver now heads a team of 80 staff across London, Boston, and Barcelona, as founder-CEO of Koa Health, a tech-enabled mental health service company. He also sits on the Expert Panel for the Wellcome Trust strategy on mental health and on the Advisory Council on digital health technology at the World Health Organisation.