Winners of the 2017 Enterprise Awards are….

The Oxford Trust Enterprise Awards are a real highlight in our calendar and a chance to recognise and celebrate Oxfordshire’s entrepreneurs and top innovation businesses. This year was no exception with a strong list of contenders and four outstanding winners, who received their awards at a gala dinner in the King’s Centre, Oxford on Tuesday. The 2017 awards, run in partnership with Venturefest Oxford and sponsored by Barclays, Marks & Clerk and product design company Triteq, were hosted by Charles Leadbeater, an innovation guru and adviser to governments, cities and organisations.

This year’s winners were:

The Oxford Trust Lifetime Achievement Award
The Lifetime Achievement Award is given to an individual who is well known and respected in the science innovation community for their outstanding contribution to society and to the growth of the region’s enterprise ecosystem. This year’s winner is Professor Sir Michael Brady who has had a stellar academic career at the University of Oxford as Professor in Oncological Imaging at the Department of Oncology (current) and Professor of Information Engineering as well as being a prolific academic author. He has many awards to his name too and was knighted in the New Year’s honours list in 2003.

Aside from his academic career, Mike has a strong commitment to commercialisation of science, in particular to entrepreneurial activity. He was a non-executive director and Deputy Chairman of Oxford Instruments and a non-executive director of AEA Technology plc. But he is also Founding Director of six super-succesful start-ups – Volpara Healthcare Technologies; Perspectum Diagnostics; Mirada Medical Limited; Guidance Ltd; ScreenPoint and Optellum – some of which run out of the Trust’s Oxford Centre for Innovation.

Mike said of his Lifetime Achievement Award: “The Oxford Trust has been massively influential in creating the science ecosystem we see in Oxfordshire today. Behind that are the twin pillars that are Martin and Audrey Wood who have been a guiding light. It means a huge amount to me to receive this lifetime achievement award.”


Barclays Award for Innovation

This award is given to an Oxfordshire company whose innovation is having a major impact on the industry in which it operates and could be considered a game-changer. This year’s prize went to Oxbotica (see photo above), a world-leading driverless software firm based in Oxford, making autonomous cars a reality in the UK. The first to put driverless cars on the streets of Milton Keynes, Greenwich and Oxford, Oxbotica now leads a £13m government-funded project called DRIVEN, alongside other client projects around the world. Their autonomous operating system, Selenium, navigates around cities, warehouses and off-road environments, using data from lasers and cameras placed on vehicles.

On receiving his award, Dr Graeme Smith, CEO, Oxbotica   “It’s fantastic to be receiving this award for innovation in our home city of Oxford – this is where it all began a few years back, as a company of just 4 people. We now have 3 offices across Oxfordshire, a fleet of 6 autonomous vehicles, and have just been awarded funding to lead a £13 million project, DRIVEN, that will see a fleet of autonomous vehicles driving between Oxford and London. Thank you Barclays and The Oxford Trust for recognising us – with this sort of celebration of innovation, Oxford will continue to be a growing hub not just for autonomous vehicles, but for science and technology at large.”  @Oxbotica

Triteq Young Entrepreneur Award

The Triteq Young Entrepreneur Award recognises and celebrates the best young founder of science and technology companies in the region, as demonstrated in the 2016–17 Venturefest Oxford pitching programme, which includes Pitchfest and Pitching for Success. This award went to Travis Wentworth (see photo above), who set up Langu – a virtual language platform that simply and easily connects language students with independent language teachers for live, one-to-one lessons in their own virtual classroom. | @heylangu

Travis Wentworth said “I am grateful to The Oxford Trust and Venturefest for all the work they do to support start-ups like Langu. I am delighted to receive the Triteq Young Entrepreneur Award.”


Marks&Clerk  Best Tech Pitch 

This award is presented to the best pitch for a new technology development in the 2016–17 Venturefest Oxford pitching programme. This year’s winner is Simon Harris of ZapGo Ltd. Developed by Oxford University and the company’s own scientists, ZapGo Ltd has developed a solution to the problems encountered by all the current generation of rechargeable appliances, devices and vehicles: slow charging. ZapGo’s technology is based on carbon non-materials including the wonder material, graphene. The result is ultra-fast charging of devices – in 5 minutes or less. Not only that but the C-Ion charger has a much longer lifespan and is composed of recyclable materials. The company’s first commercial product is due to enter the production phase. @zapandgo

Simon Harris said : “Everyone is looking for a better solution to batteries – faster or longer, or both. At ZapGo we think that we’re on to a solution and we are delighted to receive this award from The Oxford Trust  and Marks & Clark in recognition of our work.”

Four exciting winners. We look forward to seeing these companies develop and grow as previous winners like Immunocore and Adaptix. Watch this space