Launching Multimillion BioEscalator in Oxford

I was absolutely delighted to return to Oxford this week and officially open the BioEscalator.

The BioEscalator is a new innovation centre for high-potential, early-stage medical science companies co-located alongside Oxford University’s world-class medical research at the Old Road Campus, Headington. It is one of four innovation centres in Oxfordshire supported by the government funded £55m Oxford & Oxfordshire City Deal.

More than a dozen companies, working on novel diagnostics, therapeutics and platform technologies applicable to a wide range of diseases, have already moved into the BioEscalator, which acts as a hub for collaboration between the University and industry. The tenants have already attracted £43.2m of investment since they moved in, and between them employ 55 specialist and innovative staff.

It is already obvious how brilliant the BioEscalator is going to be for incubating innovation. Its modular and scalable approach, and its opportunities for cross-fertilisation, are clearly going to prove invaluable for those occupying this space and allow those collaborating here to adapt and flex their projects.

The BioEscalator has been designed for small and growing medical science businesses, with an emphasis on flexibility and support. Entrepreneurs can start with just one lab bench in a shared lab and move to a private lab as they grow.

The BioEscalator is also a hub for entrepreneurial biosciences for the University and the region, organising and hosting events aimed at increasing the collaboration between University researchers, companies small and large, and the wider innovation ecosystem. In its first nine months, the BioEscalator has hosted more than 25 events, bringing 550 people through its doors.

The BioEscalator shares the Innovation Building with the Novo Nordisk Research Centre Oxford. Co-location of medical researchers, clinicians, pharma and start-up companies on campus is a powerful combination for propelling ideas along the difficult path from idea to clinic.

Nicola Blackwood