Isis Enterprise, a subsidiary to the University of Oxford’s technology commercialisation company Isis Innovation, has won a Queens Award for Enterprise – the UK’s highest accolade for business success.
The award, bestowed last Tuesday by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, was one of seven given to Oxfordshire-based firms, out of a total twenty given to firms in the South-East of England.
Isis Enterprise, established in 2004, won the award for its performance in international trade; working with university researchers, corporates, investors and foreign governments to provide training, and to accelerate the development of technologies into new products and services. It provides consultancy in more than 50 countries worldwide, and is worth an estimated £2.8 million.
The news comes seven months after parent company Isis Innovation won “Technology Transfer Unit of the Year” at the Global University Venturing 2014 Summit. On the back of what Global University Venturing editor Gregg Bayes-Brown called “a stellar year” for Isis Innovation, the company has seen its consultancy arm make serious progress in international markets, with 88 percent of revenue coming from overseas.
Isis Innovation managing director Tom Hockaday said: “We are extremely proud that the worldwide impact of our expertise and consulting efforts has been recognised by this Queens Award. We have seen a real need for programmes which assist high growth countries and institutions with quality research to find the best path to market.”
“For example, at the University of Malta we developed an entrepreneurship Master’s course for founders of technology ventures. It has led to the creation of new businesses and the course is now being taught by local staff. In Malaysia we are working with a group of LED lighting companies to boost their international growth and product development.”
“This success has been built on our experience with long term clients here in the UK including Aston and Cranfield Universities, assisting them to commercialise their most promising research.”
Along with Isis Enterprise, six other Oxfordshire-based companies won Queens Awards last week. These include Milton Park-based Cobalt Light Systems, which invented a device to scan liquids and gels at airports; Osney Mead-based Lambdatek, which re-sells computer and electronics equipment and Witney-based lighting firm Original BTC.
The others are Abingdon based pharmaceutical marketing company Oxford PharmaGenesis; Milton Park’s Zigzag Associates, which provides quality assurance and auditing services to pharmaceutical firms; and Oxford Business Park firm Zinc Ahead, which supplies software systems to pharmaceuticals firms.
Oxfordshire Business Enterprise advisor John Vernon said: “This may well be a record for the county and it’s particularly impressive that they are all young companies showing tremendous growth. It underlines the fact Oxfordshire is a brilliant county for starting and expanding a business.”
After the win, Isis Enterprise has the momentum to reach even greater heights. Their recent success in the Asian markets will send a message that the University should be valued not just in academia but in business too.