The Oxford Trust is an independent charitable trust that was founded in 1985 by entrepreneurs Sir Martin and Lady Audrey Wood, co-founders of Oxford Instruments, the University’s first, and some say most successful, spinout company. Our mission is to encourage the pursuit of science and enterprise. The Trust runs activities across three connected programmes – enterprise, education and engagement. While the Trust focuses on the enterprise strategy, our education and engagement programmes are delivered through Science Oxford.
Our enterprise programmes support economic growth by encouraging innovation in our region. We own the Oxford Centre for Innovation in central Oxford and the Wood Centre for Innovation in Headington’s Health and Life Sciences District to support local science and tech start-ups and spinouts by providing flexible office, R&D labs, technical workspace, co-working and meeting facilities. We have helped hundreds of tech companies to develop and grow thanks to the time they spent at one of our innovation centres including Mirada Medical, Perspectum Diagnostics, Natural Motion, Oxford Computer Consultants and, more recently, Ultromics. We also create and support a wide range of Oxfordshire-based projects that put science and enterprise at the heart of our region such as IF-Oxford, the science and ideas festival, the Enterprise Awards, Advanced Oxford and, of course, Venturefest Oxford.
Our Science Oxford education programmes inspire young people about science, technology, engineering and maths. We show young people that science can be cool, can lead to an amazing career, and can change lives. We run STEM-focused programmes in schools across Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire and our Science Oxford Centre, adjoining the Wood Centre for Innovation in Headington. Surrounded by 15 acres of woodland, it is the UK’s first indoor-outdoor hands-on education centre for early years and primary-aged children.
We also encourage people of all ages to engage with how science impacts their lives. We run a vibrant year-round programme of Family Days at our Science Oxford Centre as well as Saturday Science and Creative Computing clubs.