Venturefest Oxford took place within weeks of the COP26 conference, so the event featured many local business leaders reflecting on the low carbon and sustainability agenda, as well as discussing the regional ecosystem for start ups and how we can anchor quantum computing in Oxfordshire.

Oxfordshire is at the forefront of enterprise, innovation, development of cutting edge technology and new industries, during the panel discussions we explored ways in which Oxfordshire can continue to lead the way. 




13:00 - 13:30

Arrival and Registration

STFC, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory Reception, Harwell Science and Innovation Campus

Registration will open at 13:00 at the STFC Reception, also known as the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL), just off Fermi Avenue.  When you arrive, please collect your badge from the registration desk. The event team will then direct you to the conference room. If you attending the in person event, please arrive promptly.  

Please note that in person tickets must be purchased in advance of the event. There will be no in person tickets available on the day.  Virtual tickets are available on the day. 


13:00 - 17:30


STFC Visitor Centre | Networking

At Venturefest Oxford this year you have the opportunity to network with both in person and virtual attendees. The virtual event platform, Hopin provides you with two options:

  1. Invite any attendee to a one to one video call
  2. Join the networking section to be randomly matched with another attendee

The networking element of the event will be open from 13:00 on the event day, and close at 18:30.


13:00 - 17:30


STFC Visitor Centre | Expo

Venturefest brings together partners and supporters as well as Oxfordshire’s business networks and commercial businesses, to provide a useful range of contacts for networking.

The virtual expo is an excellent opportunity to increase your exposure to a diverse audience that includes directors of large blue-chip companies, business managers who run innovative businesses, SME owners, researchers, industry specialists, innovators and enterprising young people.


13:30 - 13:40

Welcome to Venturefest Oxford 2021

Pickavance Lecture Theatre | Main Stage

Board Member, and Director of Innovation, Liz Kirby will welcome you to Venturefest Oxford 2021.

Dan Metcalfe, Director of Communications at Harwell Science and Innovation Campus, will then talk about the importance of innovation, and the role Harwell Campus plays in supporting and encouraging innovation and entrepreneurship.


13:40 - 14:30

From Glasgow to Oxfordshire – reflections on COP26

Pickavance Lecture Theatre | Main Stage

COP26 in Glasgow from 1st to 12th November 2021, provided ever more focus on the net zero, environmental and sustainability agenda. Leading Oxfordshire companies will reflect on what COP26 means for their companies and their mission and we will consider how Oxfordshire’s innovation ecosystem is at the leading edge in the development of technologies and approaches that will address the climate crisis.

Panellists: Barbara Hammond – Low Carbon Oxford, Henry Snaith – Oxford PV and Tim Curtis – Ricardo

Chaired by Chris Goodall.

Sponsored by Harwell Science and Innovation Campus.


14:45 - 15:45

Creating an ecosystem for start-ups to thrive

Pickavance Lecture Theatre | Main Stage

Oxfordshire has a vibrant community of young and early stage companies, with many new ones created each year. Many of these are spin-outs from Oxford’s two Universities and benefit greatly from the support of their parent institutions. However, many companies start without the backing of Oxfordshire’s universities or decide to locate within the Oxfordshire region to grow and develop their innovation. This panel will look at the ecosystem for start-ups, considering how companies gain support and grow, and will examine the strengths and weaknesses of Oxfordshire as a place for start-ups to scale and succeed.

Panellists: Mark Evans – Adaptix, Jon Rees – MitoRx Therapeutics, Nicki Campling – Barclays Eagle Labs, OxfordJens Tholstrup – OIONMegan Morys-Carter – TheHill and Gillian McLaren – British Business Bank.

Chaired by Nicola McConville – Taylor Vinters.

Sponsored by British Business BankJames Cowper Kreston and Taylor Vinters.


16:00 - 16:30

The Oxford Trust Awards | COVID Innovation Heroes

Pickavance Lecture Theatre | Main Stage

This year’s Oxford Trust Awards recognise and celebrate our region’s outstanding contributions in addressing the challenges brought by the pandemic – our COVID Innovation Heroes. We are rightly proud of the role that Oxfordshire played, and continues to play, nationally and internationally and are awarding individuals, teams and organisations in the following categories:

  • Outstanding Contribution to public understanding
  • Outstanding technical leadership – Therapeutic Innovation
  • Outstanding technical leadership – Therapeutic Scaleup
  • Outstanding technical leadership – Medical Engineering
  • Outstanding technical leadership – Virus Surveillance

The Awards are selected by the boards of The Oxford Trust and Venturefest Oxford and will be presented by the High Sheriff of Oxfordshire, Imam Monawar Hussain, as part of his COVID Heroes programme.

Sponsored by Barclays.


16:30 - 17:30

What does Oxfordshire have to offer quantum computing?

Pickavance Lecture Theatre | Main Stage

Quantum computing is in its early stages of commercialisation and continues to be strongly anchored within the academic base. Harwell Campus will host the UKRI National Quantum Computing Centre. A small number of quantum computing companies and setting up in Oxfordshire and other larger companies are providing key parts of the supply chain. This panel will look at the prospects for monetising quantum computing and will consider whether Oxfordshire can become the regional anchor for the UK’s quantum computing industry.

Panellists: Stuart Woods – Oxford Instruments, Wenmiao Yu – Quantum Dice, Barbara Ghinelli – STFCTom Harty – Oxford Ionics, Tim Ballance – ColdQuanta and Simon Plant – Deputy Director – Innovation, NQCC.

Chaired by Sarah Haywood – Advanced Oxford.

Sponsored by National Quantum Computing Centre.

Make connections that lead to new investments, new businesses and new ideas in the high-tech sector in Oxfordshire.