Welcoming ARC Oxford
I’m delighted to announce that today Oxford Business Park has a new name, – ARC Oxford, marking the start of a new era of innovation for the campus as it joins a growing network of over 250 science and tech organisations across the South East.
This area of Oxford and our site has a strong history of innovation. Originally the former Oxford Military College, William Morris moved his car company here and pioneered mass production in the UK in 1912. A noted philanthropist, Morris was the founder of Nuffield College and the Nuffield Foundation and in response to the polio epidemic he had the vision to retool part of the factory to make iron lungs for any hospital that requested one. Fast forward to today and you have companies based here such as Oxford Biomedica that are at the forefront of the pandemic response, working collaboratively with the academic institutes, leading universities and hospitals in Oxford to create a vaccine in 9 weeks (a process that would normally take years).
At ARC Oxford we have a growing number of life science and tech organisations making world leading discoveries and we’re excited to grow our community further. We want to create a unique innovation ecosystem that Morris would be proud of, bringing organisations together in place-based clusters, to stimulate innovation and accelerate commercial growth for all of our members.
This growing ecosystem needs infrastructure to support it and we’ve been working closely with Oxford City Council on a number of projects; from championing the re-opening of the Cowley Branch Line, putting plans in place to change our name on road signs around Oxford to developing proposals to double the size of the campus bringing new laboratories, cleanrooms, offices and cutting-edge R&D facilities. You can read more about our current and ongoing developments here. We’re hoping to share the full plans with you later this year.
At the launch of ARC Oxford today, you will see new signage, a new brochure, website and social media channels as well as an updated app, (ARClife) where you can find out about the wide variety of events that are organised by our community manager Jodie.
We also want to connect people, ideas and organisations from ARC Oxford with our wider ARC portfolio members. To enable this, we’re developing a tailored membership package, that will include business mentorship and advice, a programme of leadership events, cross cluster community events as well as a bursary scheme to encourage more women into science and tech. We’re hoping that all of our member organisations at Oxford will benefit from being ARC members.
All that leaves me to say is as a team we’re hoping to create a better environment for innovation so that you, our members can help change the world.