top of page

OxLEP at 'Science Cities' forum at St John's College Oxford University


Above: Sebastian Johnson, Head of Innovation and Inward Investment at Oxfordshire LEP (courtesy OxLEP)


Future Cities Forum is inviting Sebastian Johnson, Head of Innovation and Inward Investment at Oxfordshire LEP, to our 'Science Cities' forum at St John's College, Oxford, this September.

He has over 35 years of experience in economic development, business management, strategy and policy. He has run his own businesses, worked in the public and voluntary sectors and advised businesses and local and national government. He is a co-founder of Smart Oxford and part of the Smart Oxford Partnership Board.

His current role at OxLEP involves leading the Inward Investment team and working alongside Government and local partners to develop an Internationalisation Strategy and Delivery Plan for Oxfordshire promoting the world-class innovation, assets and skills available in Oxfordshire.


Sebastian will join the CEO of ARC Group, Stuart Grant in the discussions talking about the expansion of science parks in Oxfordshire such as Harwell and the development of lab spaces in central Oxford. New workspaces for scientists are being planned at the former shopping centre, The Clarendon in Cornmarket, where experiments can be carried out twenty-four hours a day and new discoveries made. Sebastian will also be speaking about the important connection between local businesses and state schools, and how these relationships can bring about more opportunities for young people to enter science industries.


In further news, OxLEP has announced the appointment of two new Non-Executive Directors who will join the OxLEP Partnership Board. They are Dr Barbara Ghinelli, Director, Innovation Clusters and Harwell Campus, UKRI-Science and Technologies Facilities Council and Professor Lynette Ryals OBE, CEO of MK:U and Pro-Vice-Chancellor of Cranfield University.

The Partnership will champion the Oxford to Cambridge region as a world leader of innovation and business, acting to achieve environmentally sustainable and inclusive growth that brings benefits to communities now and in the future. It states that it will do so by bringing together people and organisations with the expertise, insights, and roles, to deliver innovative solutions to some of the most pressing challenges faced.


At our forum in September, there will also be discussion about how Oxfordshire can create the right environment to attract investment and talent, along with place-making to maintain a sustainable environment for all those that live and work in the county. Oxfordshire is well-known for its successful cultural and tourism strategy and is taking steps to boost this with grant schemes.


Following on from announcing the completion of a successful funding round earlier this year, OxLEP has confirmed that it is set to re-open its Visitor Economy Grant Scheme for a second time, with significant grants available to eligible Oxfordshire-based businesses.


OxLEP Business – who operate as the Growth Hub for Oxfordshire – are again looking to reach out to as many businesses as possible operating within Oxfordshire’s visitor economy, including those companies who sit within tourism-related sub sectors, many of which are vital to an overall, successful visitor economy. Grants of between £10,000 and £15,000 are set to be available per successful business during this round of funding, with a total £250,000 pot available.


As a sector that generated around £2.5billion each year to the Oxfordshire economy pre-pandemic, this OxLEP programme aims to ensure the county can both retain and build its visitor economy market share. The scheme’s reintroduction follows OxLEP Business announcing in February that a first round of the fund saw over £600,000 directed into Oxfordshire organisations who either operate in or support tourism and visitor experiences, with companies from right across the county benefiting from the last round of investment – part of a concerted programme of activity supporting the visitor economy.


The grant scheme is part of OxLEP’s £1.64 million Visitor Economy Renaissance Programme, funding for which was secured by OxLEP via the government’s Contain Outbreak Management Fund. OxLEP are working in partnership with Oxfordshire County Council to facilitate the funding process of the programme, which includes the Visitor Economy Grant Scheme.

OxLEP Business hope to also connect with those companies who sit within tourism-related sub sectors, many of which are vital to a successful visitor economy.

The Partnership will champion the Oxford to Cambridge region as a world leader of innovation and business, acting to achieve environmentally sustainable and inclusive growth that brings benefits to communities now and in the future. It states that it will do so by bringing together people and organisations with the expertise, insights, and roles, to deliver innovative solutions to some of the most pressing challenges faced.



Recent Posts
Archive
bottom of page