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


Oxford Innovation today announced the Launch of the Martin and Audrey Wood Enterprise Awards, which will focus on innovative and technology-based companies and promising entrepreneurs. Oxford Innovation has established the Awards 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, often acknowledged as Oxford University’s first spin-out company, into a global instrumentation business employing over 1,200 people with a turnover of £156 million.

Oxford Innovation, of which Martin Wood is a founding director, provides services to innovators and entrepreneurs. The company is now the UK’s leading operator of Innovation Centres, managing 12 Centres across the south east, and also runs several thriving investment networks, including Oxfordshire Investment Opportunity Network, Europe’s most successful technology business angel network that has helped 74 companies raise £17.3 million in the last five years.

Dr David Kingham, Chief Executive of Oxford Innovation, said:
“The Martin and Audrey Wood Enterprise Awards are designed to celebrate innovators and entrepreneurs and are open to companies and entrepreneurs in Oxfordshire and the Thames Valley. They have a special focus on technology and innovation so they complement other Business Awards, such as the Oxfordshire Business Awards, which are open to a wider range of businesses.

The Awards will mark the achievements of businessmen and women who patiently overcome so many challenges to create the growing innovative companies that benefit us all. We have designed the entry process to be as simple as possible and would encourage companies and entrepreneurs to enter by 7 October. Entry forms are available at www.oxin.co.uk/enterpriseawards or by calling Charlotte Hulland at Oxford Innovation on 01235 838555.”

The Awards have three categories: Best New Technology Company, open to companies under four years old who have developed or exploited new technology; Best Innovation, open to companies of any age who can demonstrate an outstanding innovation, and Up and Coming Entrepreneur, open to business people who have started to build an innovative business and can demonstrate ambition, energy, skill and vision.

The Awards will be presented by Sir Martin and Lady (Audrey) Wood at a Reception on 9 November at Culham Science Centre. Finalists will be invited to a private Dinner hosted by Sir Martin and Lady (Audrey) Wood, with guests including the judges, who include established entrepreneurs, and sponsors. Award Winners will receive a cash prize, the offer of free space in one of Oxford Innovation’s offices or laboratories for one year, free accountancy support and a press release to promote their achievements in the media.

Sponsors of the Awards include the South East England Development Agency, Oxford Instruments plc, Grant Thornton and UKAEA Fusion.

James Brathwaite, Chairman of SEEDA, said: “We are pleased to be involved in these enterprise awards as the South East has always been a well known centre for innovators and entrepreneurs, and hope they will highlight the skills and talent in the region.”

Jonathan Flint, Chief Executive of Oxford Instruments plc, said:
“We are delighted to support the Martin and Audrey Wood Enterprise Awards, which are an appropriate tribute to our company’s founders. Innovation is in the genes of Oxford Instruments and our business is driven by taking new ideas and effectively bringing to market the products and solutions that our customers want. In supporting these Awards we encourage innovative thinking, just as Sir Martin did all those years ago.”

Wendy Hart, Head of Technology at Grant Thornton, said:
“Technology businesses face particular challenges in terms of setting up their firm, obtaining access to funding and planning a long-term strate


Publisher Contact Information:

Oxford Innovation
+44 (0)1865 811127
m.henry@oxin.co.uk

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