The Oxford BioEscalator

After a programme of development the Old Road Campus 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 Oxford BioEscalator, 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.

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.

We are currently working with future BioEscalator stakeholders, including researchers on and off Old Road Campus, and would value your input and opinions, especially on what services you would like to be made available.

Do get in contact, whether it’s just to express an interest in being kept up to date or if you have specific comments or questions: Dr Stuart Wilkinson, Head, Knowledge Exchange and Innovation Team, Research Services: stuart.wilkinson@admin.ox.ac.uk or Dr Maxine Allen, Head, Business Development and Partnering, Medical Sciences Division: Maxine.allen@medsci.ox.ac.uk.