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Spring news from companies in our innovation centres

March 8th 2024

Each season, there is an abundance of good news to celebrate from companies in our innovation centres, the Oxford Centre for Innovation and Wood Centre for Innovation. We are pleased to share our Spring round-up with exciting news on product developments, new contracts, funding, collaborations and partnerships, growing teams, awards and results of the hard work and visionary ideas of the companies in our centres.

Product and research development

In exciting news from thriving company in the Oxford Centre for Innovation, Infleqtion announced the launch of their world-first Quantum Matter Service, Oqtant, an innovative cloud platform, making quantum capabilities available to researchers, innovators, and students working on next-generation quantum applications and enabling new quantum discoveries, product development and innovation.

Quantum Dice, in partnership with SpeQtral, announced the launch and use of Zenith Quantum Random Number Generator, a product designed for space, to enable secure quantum communication technologies in the upcoming SpeQtral-1 satellite mission.

Jack Fertility, in the Wood Centre for Innovation, has concluded its initial research study with well over 500 tests conducted and almost 100 samples analysed. The team appreciate the support from colleagues and friends at the Wood Centre for Innovation for their research and product development.

QuantrolOx reported its Quantum EDGE qubit automation software has set a new benchmark for speed and ease of use for qubit bring up, characterisation and testing. With over 100x speed compared to current industry benchmarks, it removes a major bottleneck in the rate of development of quantum processing units and accelerates the path to developing practical quantum computers.

New leadership and team growth

New leadership in a number of companies in the innovation centres highlights significant growth points in businesses.

Createc, in the Oxford Centre for Innovation, has appointed a new CEO, Will Newsom, who will focus on driving commercial growth to scale the company to become a medium-sized business, with operating offices now in the UK, Norway and Japan.

Visionary Machines, with an office in the Oxford Centre for Innovation, has appointed a new CEO, defence industry veteran Sonny Foster, and new COO, Nick Gibbs as they enter a new growth phase of vision-based sensor technology and transition to a commercial focus, driving deeper engagement with customers and the company’s initial target markets including defence, emergency services, mining and logistics.

Visionary Machines’ new COO Nick Gibbs and CEO Sonny Foster

Oxford Sigma, which moved to the Oxford Centre for Innovation last year, has appointed a new chairman, James Dimitrou, marking a new chapter and phase of growth for the company after five years of success. The team now stands at 11 and is actively recruiting.

Growing team of Oxford Sigma

Optellum has welcomed Maciej Kardas as a Commercial Manager, focusing on the opportunities for clinical sales within European and UK markets.

Funding and contracts

Infleqtion has been awarded a contract to develop and deliver a cutting-edge neutral atom quantum computing testbed for the National Quantum Computing Centre (NQCC) as part of the UKRI-supported Quantum Computing Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) program. Infleqtion will partner with QinetiQ and Oxfordshire County Council to apply quantum optimisation to address challenges including Oxfordshire’s traffic issues. The project aims to have a significant impact nationwide, particularly in national security and defence, as well as regionally.

Oxford Sigma announced funding from the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) for Project LiFTOFF (Lithium Facility by Oxford Sigma for Fusion), in which it is developing a liquid lithium loop facility to evaluate the impact of liquid lithium exposure on materials critical for the design and commercialisation of fusion power devices. The contract has strong partnerships with Bangor University, First Light Fusion, The University of Birmingham, and Nuvia who are providing key expertise, experience, and resources to the team.

Samsara Therapeutics is one of nine partners in the new DREAMS consortium, a near €8 million Horizon Europe project addressing challenges of rare disease drug discovery. The five-year-long DREAMS – Drug REpurposing and Artificial intelligence for Muscular disorders – consortium will pioneer an innovative method that combines artificial intelligence, pluripotent stem cells, and pharmacological screening to search for therapeutic solutions for five debilitating neuromuscular conditions.

Other partnerships and collaboration

Infleqtion has been selected by Japan’s Science and Technology Agency as the only foreign quantum computing partner in the Quantum Moonshot program. In February, it also participated as the lead quantum innovator in Defence Cyber Marvel 3 (DCM3), Europe’s premier cyber defense exercise, to tackle cyber threats in a simulated environment. DCM3 aims to spotlight and advance understanding of cutting-edge technologies crucial to network security, with a particular emphasis on quantum technology.

Quantum Dice is partnering with BT Group to explore the potential applications of Quantum Dice’s cutting-edge Quantum Random Number Generator (QRNG) in the telecommunications sector. Read the announcement from Innovate UK ICURs here.

Helio Display Materials in the Wood Centre for Innovation has entered into a strategic partnership with Haylo Ventures led by David Hayes and will be focusing on commercialisation of perovskites materials for microdisplay AR application.

Learning with Experts is working with BOB (Oxfordshire) NHS Trust to build a new education programme and infrastructure to improve health outcomes through patient education. It will be rolling out the first digital online lining classrooms for people with chronic pain on Connect Health. Learning with Experts will also work with Bridge-ability, a top international provider of Negotiating Skills training, as it shifts from an all face-to-face approach to a ‘digital first’ approach to training.

Oxford Sigma announced a long-term collaboration with Gauss Fusion to establish a materials strategy and develop the most promising fusion materials to maturity, in order to accelerate the deployment of Gauss Fusion technology in Europe.

Optellum are pleased to report more healthcare systems are using their software, the latest to come online is Jupiter Health in Florida, USA.

Network activities, awards and other news

Quantum Dice has been selected for the Google for Startups Growth Academy programme for cybersecurity companies, as one of only 17 startups selected from across Europe and the U.S. to join the 2nd cohort.

Wood Centre for Innovation-based Lurtis celebrated the 10-year anniversary of their global company.

Lumai’s Head of Product, Phil Burr, was recently interviewed by Silicon Semiconductor. Read the article and a short blog with more details here. Read also about one of their engineers, Stuart Macpherson, in a blog published for UNESCO’s World Engineering Day for Sustainable Development on 4th March.

CardMedic CEO, Rachael Grimaldi, was honoured to be part of the lively and engaging Tackling Inequalities through innovation and entrepreneurship event at the Royal Society of Medicine in January, where several NHS clinical entrepreneurs were selected to pitch on the main stage and lead a breakout session on innovation design. CardMedic also exhibited at the NHS Clinical Entrepreneur Programme launch at the Royal Geographical Society on 6th March.

Jack Fertility was featured in Sheer Luxe, and CEO Lily Elsner was featured in FemTech World. The team spoke at a number of events at the University of Oxford’s Business School, various colleges, and a number of courses, and continues to raise awareness of male infertility and their work.

Learning with Experts won two Industry Edtech Awards in Dec 2023, against well-established competition – Adult Home Learning Product of the Year and Digital Health and Wellbeing Learning Product of the Year.

Samsara Therapeutics won the Best Emerging Biotech at the OBN awards in November last year. Samsara’s platform is the largest ever pipeline for the identification, chemical optimization, and in vivo validation of compounds that enhance autophagy.

We congratulate Matt Lucas in Barclays Eagle Labs in the Wood Centre for Innovation, who has taken on a new role in Barclays Eagle Lab as Ecosystem Manager.

Congratulations to all the successes over the past few months. We look forward to witnessing and sharing more of your journeys over the next season.


June 10th 2024

Wild Bioscience wins The Oxford Trust-sponsored Emerging Tech Business Award at the 2024 Oxfordshire Business Awards

  Announced at the glamourous Oxfordshire Business Awards ceremony on 7th June, this year’s winner of the Emerging Tech Business Award is University of Oxford spinout Wild Bioscience, a company using sophisticated computational biology and biotech to build climate resilience into food production through specifically designed crops. The Oxford Trust is pleased to […]

May 22nd 2024

Celebrating Biodiversity on International Day for Biodiversity at The Wood Centre for Innovation

Celebrating Biodiversity on International Day for Biodiversity here at The Wood Centre for Innovation

May 21st 2024

The Oxford Trust launches Accessing Science Fund to support young people into STEM

The Oxford Trust has launched the Accessing Science Fund to improve science learning for children and young people who are less likely to have access to STEM activities and resources in schools and community groups across Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire. The Fund has been launched as part of the Trust’s fifth anniversary celebration of the […]