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Martin & Audrey Wood Enterprise Awards 2011 are Launched
Awards Final will be held at Venturefest


Innovators and entrepreneurs across Oxfordshire and surrounding areas are urged to enter The Martin & Audrey Wood Enterprise Awards 2011, which are launched today. The awards offer fantastic opportunities for companies to gain recognition for their achievements and raise their profile within the local business community.

This year, the final of these prestigious awards will be held at Venturefest, one of the premier business events in the south east. The conference attracts over 1,000 delegates, the majority of whom are investors, entrepreneurs and innovators themselves, so winners will benefit from bigger and better promotional opportunities.

The 2011 awards have five categories:
• Information and Communication Technology Award
• Green Technology Award
• Engineering and Instrumentation Award
• Medical Devices and Healthcare Technologies Award
• The Martin & Audrey Wood Enterprise Awards Overall Winner Award, which 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 the Venturefest Dinner Reception at the Ashmolean Museum. All award winners will receive a package of prizes up to the value of £5,000 per category, that have been donated by a range of organisations that provide valuable services to early-stage businesses. Examples of the prizes include: advertising from B4 Magazine, one year’s membership with Connections at Trafalgar Square, a brand workshop from One Ltd and the offer of free space in one of Oxford Innovation’s offices or laboratories for one year.

The twelve finalists will be invited to demonstrate their business ideas within the technology showcase area at the conference, before presenting to the Venturefest audience and a panel of expert judges who will include Sir Martin and Lady Audrey Wood. The event will be held on Tuesday 7 June at the Saïd Business School, Oxford and will conclude with a dinner and champagne reception at the Ashmolean Museum where the results of the awards will be announced.

Established in 2005, the awards are held 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, as Oxford University’s first spin-out, into a global engineering firm. Martin Wood also founded Oxford Innovation, the organiser of the awards.

Don McLaverty, joint managing director of Innovation Services at Oxford Innovation, said: “Oxford Innovation is delighted to be working with Venturefest to host this year’s Martin & Audrey Wood Enterprise Awards. Both events have been hugely successful in previous years and I believe that by working together we will help to raise awareness of the importance of innovators and entrepreneurs in Oxfordshire and the surrounding area.

“Companies that are shortlisted for the awards will benefit from the opportunity to demonstrate their ideas to over 1,000 Venturefest delegates, and the winners will receive a great package of prizes worth £5,000. I would urge entrepreneurs and innovative companies to get their entries in by the closing date of 21 April.”

Hadyn Parry, CEO of Oxitec, a previous winner of the Green Technology Award and the Overall Winner of the last Enterprise Awards in 2009, said: “The story of Oxford Instruments is one of entrepreneurship and business innovation. Winning the award not only provided Oxitec with increased recognition and profile that had multiple benefits but it also gave us a great challenge to try and emulate the success of Martin and Audrey Wood in building an international business.”

The closing date for the awards is 21 April at 5pm. To enter, or to nominate a company, visit www.venturefest.com/wood-enterprise-awards or call Charlotte Wilde on 01865 261480 or email: c.wilde@oxin.co.uk
- ENDS -

Editors notes
Press enquiries to: Margaret Henry, PR Director
Tel: + 44 (0)1865 261491 Email: m.henry@oxin.co.uk

Photo available on request
The finalists with Sir Martin and Lady Audrey Wood (centre) at the 2009 awards ceremony.

About the Martin & Audrey Wood Enterprise Awards
For an entry form visit www.venturefest.com/wood-enterprise-awards or call Charlotte Wilde on 01865 261480 or email: c.wilde@oxin.co.uk

About Oxford Innovation
Oxford Innovation is a leading operator of business and innovation centres that provide office and laboratory space to companies throughout the UK. The company also provides innovation services to entrepreneurs, including business planning advice, coaching and mentoring.

Oxford Innovation also manages three highly successful investment networks that link investors with entrepreneurs seeking funding from £20,000 to £2m. 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 and associated companies include SQW, a leading provider of research, analysis and advice on sustainable economic and social development solutions to the public and private sectors, and SQW China, which operates from Hong Kong providing economic and management consultancy services to China and the international market. For more information: www.sqwgroup.com

About Venturefest
Venturefest is a free one day conference, open to all, that serves to celebrate enterprise and innovation and to promote the commercialisation of innovation.

Every year, investors, entrepreneurs and innovators share an exciting day – doing real business, uncovering opportunities and making new contacts. The need to invest in our high tech, high value economy has never been clearer – Oxfordshire has the skills and resources to outgrow the rest of the country’s economy, and help lead us into a prosperous, climate-resilient future.

Venturefest is built around three workshop streams, which are complemented by an exhibition, a technology showcase, giving young high technology businesses an opportunity to show and tell, and a closing gala dinner. For more information: www.venturefest.com


Publisher Contact Information:

Oxford Innovation
+44 (0)1865 261491
m.henry@oxin.co.uk

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