The Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF) is an internal fund which was approved by the University Council in July 2019. It aims to accelerate the pace with which strategic research and innovation projects are developed into investable proposals. It is a time-limited, one-off investment that focuses on identifying and developing high-impact, flexible and highly innovative or creative project concepts. It enhances the chances of excellent research having material and far-reaching impact, typically through attracting substantial external funding, or significantly advancing research translation and commercialisation.
It is aligned to the following priorities in the University’s Strategic Plan 2018-23:
- 12: ‘Continue to broaden and invest in our innovation activities and foster the entrepreneurial environment for staff and students’
- 19: ‘Expansion of the innovation districts in and around Oxford, including at Begbroke Science Park and Osney Mead’
The fund is worth up to a maximum of £2.5 million per year, and awards from the fund are expected to be no more than £100,000 per project. The SIF is funded from annual surplus returns from research commercialisation activities, which Council has agreed will be shared with the Strategic Research Fund.