Our Strategy

With its universities and national research laboratories, Oxfordshire and the wider region has a vibrant innovation ecosystem which has seen the creation of many science-based companies – the key economic drivers of our future. Oxford itself is a cultural gem, with nationally important museums, galleries and performance spaces.

The Trust strives to place science and entrepreneurship at the heart of culture in our region so that everyone, irrespective of age or background, can develop their scientific and technological literacy.

We can best encourage the pursuit of science and enterprise by making connections. Most obviously these connections are between businesses or researchers and the people that live, work and study in our region. The Trust does this through an extensive education outreach programme in schools and through a growing portfolio of events in the wider community.

Our collaborations with STEM businesses, educational institutions and through our public engagement activities, means the Trust sits in a strong position; it can make connections which link entrepreneurs, researchers, students and the public.

Creating Networks

The Trust can also make and support connections between practitioners themselves, creating powerful networks that go beyond regional and national limits. These can be used to develop, test and evaluate innovative ideas within the fields of education, enterprise and public engagement; and address issues at the interface between these fields.

What sets us apart?

The Oxfordshire innovation ecosystem is a busy one but over the past thirty years, the Trust has evolved to become well-positioned to make a positive contribution to our region’s economic development. 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 in business.
  • Our independence and reputation; our organisation is entirely independent, is largely self-sufficient 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 thirty years of stable and secure operation through strategic investments and long term planning.
  • We are 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.

Our sustainable business model

The Oxford Trust has a simple but effective sustainable business model. We own and run the Oxford Centre for Innovation (OCFI), which supports STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) enterprise by providing cost-effective office space for local science and tech start-ups. Income from this activity is reinvested to support the science and innovation community in 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.

How we decide what to do?

Before embarking upon any new project, the Trust will ask itself a series of questions, which will help decide whether or not that project goes ahead. The answer to most of these questions should be yes.

  • Is it consistent with the Trust’s mission and plans?
  • Is it innovative and inspirational?
  • Is it something we can do effectively?
  • Do we have the resources to deliver it?
  • Can it be developed, evaluated and disseminated?
  • Does it involve partnership rather than competition?

If you’re interested in a partnership with the Trust, it’s worth considering these questions.

Get in touch

We are keen to hear from like-minded organisations who are interested in working with the Trust – whether it’s to join a network, collaborate on an event, develop a project or partner on a grant application. Please do get in touch with us by calling on 01865 810000 or emailing [email protected]

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