10:12am Thursday 29th March 2012
By Andrew Smith
Chinese investors are helping launch businesses spinning out of Oxford University.
And in exchange, experts from Isis Innovation, which helps commercialise work in the university, are travelling to China to lend their expertise to new companies starting there.
The developments were sealed by the visit of a delegation from China’s Changzhou district who met with Isis Innovation managing director Tom Hockaday and Oxford Lord Mayor Elise Benjamin.
Investors from Changzhou ploughed an undisclosed amount of cash into two businesses — Oxstent, which has developed a new stent or tube for the treatment of heart and abdominal problems, and Oxford Vacmedix, which is researching treatments for conditions such as tuberculosis and hepatitis B.
Isis Innovation spokesman Simon Gray said: “One of the things that’s held back the commercialisation of brilliant ideas has been access to investors at an early stage.The Chinese are enthusiastic about companies which have great potential, particularly in the medical and life sciences fields and that is something we are now tapping into.”
Isis Innovation has an existing office in Hong Kong and experts have now travelled to Changzhou.
Ms Benjamin added: “The important thing is developing local links and anything that furthers Isis Innovation is always welcome.”
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