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The Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race

Published on: 30/03/2016

The Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race came and went with blusterous conditions and sinking boats. But while competition is still hot on the water, on dry land Oxford is growing strongly as a global research and development (R&D) destination.

Investment activity is strong in this famous City – it has seen more than £1.2 billion of investment in biomedical research in the last five years and this shows no sign of wavering.

Start-ups are continuing to spring up around the town centre and university, above all because it attracted more investment last year than competitors from Cambridge. This trend is no more evident than at business, science and technology park, Milton Park (developed and managed by MEPC), which continues to gain momentum over its ‘Golden Triangle’ competition.

Located within 12 miles of Oxford University, Milton Park’s setting lends greatly to its success and provides opportunities for graduates seeking exciting, pioneering careers. Oxford BioTrans, an Oxford University spinout, supported by over 20 years of research have recently opened their new research and development facilities on the park. Another spinout, now one of the UK’s leading cancer research companies – Adaptimmune – has recently agreed an extension to their existing premises on Milton Park by commissioning a pre let laboratory building. The two are part of the 250 businesses already located at Milton Park.

The park is also attracting global brands. Pharmaceutical company Ipsen has agreed a 15 year lease on 102 Park Drive, a 27,000 sq ft building which they are currently fitting out with brand new lab and office space. The company will be joining a community of innovators and collaborators, including Oxitec, who are currently working with the World Health Organisation to assist in abolishing the Zika Virus epidemic in and around South America.

There is no doubt that Oxford will continue as a one of the key nodal points in UK research and development triangle along with Cambridge and London. Particularly as The Oxford Local Enterprise Partnership has recently announced that the UK Enterprise Zone is expected to gain a further 14,000 jobs in life sciences in the next 20 years – Milton Park alone has already contributed 2,000 of these jobs over the last two years.

So with Oxford’s employment and business growth seemingly on the up; all eyes will be on next year’s Boat Races to see whether Oxford can reign supreme both on and off dry land.


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