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CLC study visit to Oxford for EIT Health InnoStars

27. 06. 2019

CLC Study visit for EIT Health InnoStars currently takes places in Oxford. From 26th to 28th June, OXENTIA hosts a study visit to provide an introduction to Oxford's innovation ecosystem which is renowned for being both forward-looking and for the support that it has provided to innovators from a diversity of backgrounds. 



DEX Innovation Centre is an EIT Health RIS Hub in the Czech Republic. Currently, one of our Team members participates at the CLC visit in Oxford. By inviting local stakeholders, the goal is also to engage them to adapt and implement best practices of EIT Health community, to start a mutual discussion about KTI (Knowledge Triangle Integration) development in the region, and facilitate networking with EIT Health InnoStars Partners.

After the welcome speech, Dr Nathan Pike, Director of Training at Oxentia, introduced the Oxford innovation ecosystem and lessons for technology transfer. He also touched the topic of investing “When it comes to investing in early-stage companies the VC’s might have a problem to invest in the non-proven companies. But its slightly changing.“ Some of the identified problems in the innovative ecosystem were e.g. academic community mindset and lack of mutual cooperation among universities and industry. 

Then, Ed Butcher and Samantha Decombel provided the audience with examples of successful University spin-off Oxford Nanopore and fledgeling FitnessGenes project. 

After lunch, Mr Tim Hart gave a speech about harnessing the business model canvas.  According to him, “If you stimulate the student’s community (usually composed of international students), you often find a catalyst for change.” He also mentioned that only 10% of all startups fail because of technology. On the other hand, 90% of startups fail because they are working on a product that nobody wants. Therefore, startups need to think carefully about their value proposition which should be satisfying customer's needs at all times. 

Mrs Catherine Spencer was the last speaker of the day. She presented Oxford startup incubator and how the incubator changed in time. Few changes, such as increased diversity, corporate support or mentoring, weekly training for teams or increased diversity lead to incredible results. At this time, they are having a list of startups waiting and the demand continues growing. Since February 2018, they have 100+ enquiries per year. She commented on the changes: “ I am asking for free as much as I can. The key of a successful incubator is not asking for the money, except for teams.” 

During this year, one more CLC visits will take place in partners countries. It will be opened to all key stakeholders with the aim to facilitate knowledge transfer and learn about key success factors of innovation ecosystem development.

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