New life sciences lab space at Wood Centre for Innovation

Advanced Oxford member, The Oxford Trust, the local charity encouraging the pursuit of science and enterprise, is to undertake a half million-pound project to install life science laboratory facilities at its Wood Centre for Innovation.  The Wood Centre is based in Headington, Oxford, close to the city’s hospital quarter, Oxford Brookes University and the University of Oxford’s biomedical faculty.

The Trust has received funding support towards the project via the Government’s Local Growth Fund, secured by the Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (OxLEP). The project will deliver laboratory facilities to answer the significant demand that has been seen in the last year from science and tech start-ups and SMEs for lab space in Oxford’s Global Health and Life Sciences District, one of the UK’s leading technology clusters delivering lifesaving developments such as the COVID-19 vaccine.

The project will total 3,300 sq ft of advanced R&D laboratory space for work at containment level 2 with climate control and air handling and 500 sq ft of shared facilities for common equipment and specialist microscopy use, including liquid nitrogen storage, autoclave, water purifier and dark room. The project is due for completion in Spring 2021.

Surrounded by 15-acres of woodland, the Wood Centre for Innovation is within easy reach of the clinical research facilities at the University of Oxford’s Old Road Campus, local hospitals (John Radcliffe, Nuffield Orthopaedic Hospital and the Churchill Hospital), and Oxford Brookes University. Alongside the lab space, the Wood Centre for Innovation provides grade A offices, co-working and desk space in Barclays Eagle Lab, a lecture theatre, meeting rooms, café area and sector-specific business support.

Announcing the development of the laboratory space, Steve Burgess, CEO of The Oxford Trust said: “Now more than ever, we need to invest to support local innovators and entrepreneurs to develop ground-breaking ideas. This first phase of laboratory installations at the Wood Centre for Innovation means we will be able to offer a complete range of spaces in our two innovation centres from virtual offices and co-working to grade A office space and laboratory facilities to support science and tech start-ups and spinouts on their journey to success.”

Nigel Tipple, Chief Executive of OxLEP said: “The confirmation of funding for such a significant project – that will continue to build on the county’s world-class science and technology assets – is excellent news.”

“In recent months, Oxfordshire’s life sciences sector has demonstrated its global standing and has had a monumental impact on responding to the COVID19 pandemic. We hope the funding received by The Oxford Trust will help continue to build on this position of strength.”

  An aerial view of the Wood Centre for Innovation

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