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Oxford Innovation launches the Martin & Audrey Wood Enterprise Awards 2009
Celebrating Innovators and Entrepreneurs


Oxford Innovation has launched the Martin & Audrey Wood Enterprise Awards 2009 at the Venturefest business exhibition held today at the Kassam Stadium, Oxford. The Enterprise Awards celebrate the achievements of innovative companies in Oxfordshire and the Thames Valley and are returning this year with more categories and bigger and better prizes for the winners. The deadline for entries is 14 September and the awards will be presented at a Reception Evening to be held during the autumn at Saïd Business School, Oxford.

Oxford Innovation established the Awards in 2005 in honour of Sir Martin and Lady (Audrey) Wood, who co-founded Oxford Instruments plc and continue to support start-up and growing companies in Oxfordshire and beyond. The Woods grew Oxford Instruments from a start-up in 1959, which was Oxford University’s first spin-out company, into a global instrumentation business that will mark its 50th anniversary this summer.

This year the Awards will be organised by Oxford Innovation, with support from Science Oxford.

Oxford Innovation, of which Sir Martin Wood was a founding director, provides services to innovators and entrepreneurs. The company is the UK’s leading operator of innovation centres, managing 12 centres across the UK, and also runs several thriving investment networks, including Oxford Investment Opportunity Network, Europe’s most successful technology business angel network.

Dr Phillip Leo, Director and Head of Innovation Centres at Oxford Innovation, said: “Oxford Innovation is delighted to be organising the Martin & Audrey Wood Enterprise Awards once again and we have already received an encouraging number of enquiries from companies wishing to enter. The Awards offer several benefits – a lively networking evening where we can celebrate the achievements of innovators and entrepreneurs in Oxfordshire and the Thames Valley, effective PR for the winners and a great package of prizes worth £5,000 per category, donated by support organizations that provide valuable services to early-stage businesses. I would urge entrepreneurs and innovative companies to make sure they enter by our closing date of 14 September.”

Stephen Clemmet, CEO of Polymertronics Ltd, a previous winner of the New Technology Company Award, said: “Winning the Award was an exceptional springboard for Polymertronics, resulting in a lot of PR coverage for our vision for plastic electronics. Polymertronics has followed this with international recognition and has successfully tested its technology in photodynamic therapy for killing skin cancer. The Martin & Audrey Wood Enterprise Award was our PR kick-start, so wonderfully useful.”

Another previous Award Winner is Dr Edward Green, Founder & Chief Technical Officer of Green Biologics Ltd, an industrial biotech company based at Milton Park, Oxfordshire which is aiming to become the world’s leading supplier of advanced fermentation technologies for conversion of biomass to renewable fuels and chemicals. Dr Green said: “Green Biologics really benefited from entering these Awards as they brought us to the attention of a prominent entrepreneur who became our chairman and has been invaluable to us in so many ways - from guiding us with our business model to introducing us to new markets and helping us to secure major contracts. We also benefited from the PR, which allowed us to significantly raise our profile. I would strongly encourage start-up and growing companies to enter the Awards.”

The 2009 Awards will have five categories:
Best Information and Communication Technology Award. This Award is open to any company that exemplifies innovation in Information and Communication Technology within an industry sector.

Best Green Technology Award. Open to any company that demonstrates an innovative technology, system, technique or programme which has a positive impact on the environment and has commercial potential.

Best Precision Engineering and Instrumentation Award. Open to any company that demonstrates an innovative product or technique in precision engineering and/or instrumentation.

Best Medical Devices and Healthcare Technologies Award. Open to any company that demonstrates an innovative healthcare related product or technique that has been successfully developed and has commercial potential.

There will also be a Martin & Audrey Wood Enterprise Awards Overall Winner Award, which is sponsored by Oxford Instruments plc and will be given to the company or individual that has made a significant social or economic impact on Oxfordshire or the UK.

The Awards will be presented by Sir Martin and Lady (Audrey) Wood at a Reception at the Said Business School during the autumn. All Award winners will receive a package of prizes up to the value of £5,000 per category, been donated by a range of organisations that provide valuable services to early-stage businesses. Examples of the prizes include: the offer of free space in one of Oxford Innovation’s offices or laboratories for one year, advertising from B4 Magazine; HR support from HR Advantage and online back-up services from Riverbank IT Management.

To enter, or nominate a company, please visit www.oxin.co.uk/enterpriseawards or call Charlotte Wilde on 01865 811127 or email: c.wilde@oxin.co.uk

- ENDS -
Notes for editors
Press enquiries to: Margaret Henry, PR Director
Tel: + 44 (0)1865 811199 Email: m.henry@oxin.co.uk

Photos available on request:
1. Networking at the Reception Evening for the Martin & Audrey Wood Enterprise Awards.

2. Winners of the Martin & Audrey Wood Enterprise Awards 2007 with Sir Martin and (Lady) Audrey Wood.

L-R: Steve Clemmet (MD of Polymertronics, Best New Technology Company); Martin Short (CEO of Sachet Systems, Best Environmental Innovation); Sir Martin and Lady (Audrey) Wood; Dr Peter Wrighton-Smith (CEO of Oxford Immunotec, Best Healthcare Innovation and Overall Winner) and Mike Lawton (CEO of Futuretec, Winner of the Up and Coming Entrepreneur Award).
Not shown: Tony Sefton (MD of Vision XS, Best Innovation Award Winner).

1. About the Martin & Audrey Wood Enterprise Awards
For an entry form and more information visit www.oxin.co.uk/enterpriseawards
or call Charlotte Wilde on 01865 811127 or email: c.wilde@oxin.co.uk

2. About Oxford Innovation
Oxford Innovation provides services to growing companies, and to government bodies that promote enterprise. The company operates a network of innovation centres that provide flexible office and laboratory space to over 300 technology, knowledge-based and creative companies.

Oxford Innovation also manages three highly successful investment networks that link investors with entrepreneurs seeking funding from £20,000 to £2 million. During the last five years, the investment networks have helped over 90 companies raise £19.5m. For more information: www.oxin.co.uk

Oxford Innovation is part of SQW Group. Other divisions include SQW Consulting, which provides consultancy services in social and economic development to public sector organisations; SQW Energy, which provides energy market design and carbon management services and SQW Asia, which operates from Hong Kong providing economic and management consultancy services to Asia and international market. For more information: www.sqwgroup.com

3. About Science Oxford
Science Oxford Networks supports the growth and development of Oxfordshire’s high-tech economy by pioneering initiatives, researching and communicating useful information and building links between business, education and the public.

Over the last 20 years Science Oxford has developed a range of innovative projects, a number of which are now delivered by others. It played a pioneering role in the development of both innovation centres for the incubation of high-tech companies and in the creation of venture angel networks such as the Oxford Investment Opportunity Network. Oxford Innovation, our own spin-out company, is widely recognised as a leading provider of services to the knowledge-based economy.

Science Oxford has also played a major role in the field of education and public engagement. In the early 1990’s Science Oxford created Oxfordshire Science Festival which is going from strength to strength and instigated innovative science programmes for schools. In 2005, Science Oxford opened Oxford’s first cultural centre for science and enterprise in St Clements. For more information: www.scienceoxford.com


Publisher Contact Information:

Oxford Innovation
+ 44 (0)1865 811199
m.henry@oxin.co.uk

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