Our strategy

The Trust’s mission is to encourage the pursuit of science.

We strive to place science at the heart of culture in our region so that everyone, irrespective of age or background, can develop their scientific and technological knowledge and understanding, and science and tech companies can flourish and grow.

We believe that Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) hold the solution to some of the world’s greatest challenges – from climate change, disease mitigation and environmental degradation to space exploration and social cohesion.

We help create an environment where STEM-based entrepreneurs can deliver ground-breaking products and services, where success is celebrated and where young people, supported by teachers and families, can have stimulating STEM experiences that develop their understanding, skills, and aspirations.

We aim to do this through our three key programmes: Innovation, Education and Public Engagement.


Our innovation programme is provided by The Oxford Trust and supports science and tech start-ups and spinouts through our two innovation centres.

The Trust owns the Oxford Centre for Innovation in the city centre and the Wood Centre for Innovation in Headington’s Health & Life Sciences District. Our Centres provide much-needed office, R&D labs, workshops and co-working space for over 40 science and tech start-ups in the Oxford region.

The Trust also runs an Escalator Support Programme to help young technology-based businesses get started in Oxford.

Our passion is seeing those companies which join us grow and succeed.

The Trust also aims to create and support projects that put innovation at the heart of our region, such as Advanced Oxford, which works with innovation businesses to help the long-term development of the region, and innovation catalyst, The Hill

Education and public engagement

Our education and public engagement programmes are delivered by the Science Oxford team. Our aim is to switch young people on to science; to show that science can be can cool, can lead to an amazing career and can change lives.

We do this by running an extensive STEM outreach programme in schools that reaches thousands of young people every year. In 2019, we opened the Science Oxford Centre which is the UK’s first integrated indoor-outdoor hands-on science education centre for early years and primary-aged children.

We also run a club and events programme to engage people of all ages in science and technology, including Family Days every Saturday and science and computing at the Science Oxford Centre.

Our sustainable business model

We have a simple but effective sustainable business model. We own and run the Oxford Centre for Innovation and the Wood Centre for Innovation, which support STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) enterprise by providing cost-effective, flexible office space for local science and tech start-ups. Income from this activity is reinvested to support innovation across the region and Science Oxford’s science education and engagement programmes. The strength of this model is that it is self-sustaining and supports both ends of the science ecosystem, from inspiring young children about the wonders of science to helping science start-ups to develop and grow.

Our values

Ambitious: We set high aspirations to maximise our impact.
Confident: We are confident that what we are doing has an impact. We learn by listening to our stakeholders and adapting accordingly.
Collaborative: We care about difference and each other. We work in partnership.
Agile: We are positioned to react quickly where clear needs are identified, or opportunities arise, to further our impact.
Sustainable: We intend to be here for the long term. Sustainability is important to us financially, operationally, and environmentally.

What sets us apart?

The Trust prides itself on:

  • Our people: We have a team of dedicated and experienced staff and trustees whose skills cover a range of expertise in STEM, education, public engagement and business.
  • Our independence and reputation: Our organisation is entirely independent and has a reputation for being unbiased.
  • Our networks: Whether it is business, education or public engagement, the Trust is well linked into local, regional, national and international networks.
  • Our partnerships:The Trust fully recognises that in order to deliver its mission mutually beneficial partnerships with other organisations must be built and supported.
  • Our organisational and financial stability: Established in 1985, our organisation has demonstrated nearly 40 years of stable and secure operation through strategic investments and long-term planning.
  • Nimble and innovative: We are a relatively small organisation, and have a track record of testing new ideas, developing high quality projects and delivering programmes that have real impact.
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