A £67 million push to get cutting-edge technology products on to the market has been announced by the Chancellor as part of a “city deal” to boost Oxford's economy.
George Osborne said the cash - £30 million from central government and the rest provided by local councils and universities - would go to four "incubator centres".
These are designed to help innovative small firms take the next step towards marketing and selling to the rest of the world.
“Oxfordshire is internationally recognised as a hub of innovation and we have to keep this up,” Mr Osborne said, as he visited Begbroke Science Park.
“The Government will set out how we're improving local infrastructure and investing in skills so we can take full advantage of these facilities in the Oxford and Oxfordshire City Deal later this week.”
The cash will help fund an “innovation accelerator” to support researchers in preparing robotics, car and jet engine parts and super-fast computers for market; the “Oxford Bioescalator” in Headington, which promotes technology and expertise sharing between small bioscience and medical companies; a centre for excellence in engineering technology at Culham, which develops “remote handling” machinery used in the construction industry; and high-tech science machinery at the Harwell research centre, which already hosts the “Diamond Light Source” particle accelerator.
Professor Andrew Hamilton, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford, said, “Oxfordshire is already a powerhouse of innovation and wealth creation. It was recently ranked amongst the world's top five ‘hotspots’ for innovation and it is crucial that we build on the region's unique strengths.
“Creating a regional environment in which entrepreneurial activity can thrive is good for Oxfordshire and good for Oxford University in its mission to continue to attract the best students and researchers from around the world.”