Oxford University Innovation has announced the permanent appointment of CEO Dr Mairi Gibbs. 

Dr Gibbs has a track record of more than 20 years in university technology transfer, including multiple roles leading strategic business management and operational areas of OUI.

Her expertise spans management of technology transfer teams and processes, partnerships, formation of spinout companies, licensing and legal cases, academic outreach, patent portfolio management and consultancy services. 

Baroness Nicola Blackwood, chair of OUI and Genomics England, said: “I am delighted to welcome Mairi to the helm of OUI on a permanent basis. Since taking on the interim position in March 2024, Mairi has already demonstrated the value of her expertise and vision.

“Under her stewardship, OUI will undoubtedly deliver growth through evolving OUI’s licensing partnerships, accelerating our spinout creation, while nurturing a thriving student entrepreneurship and academic consultancy culture.”  

The University of Oxford recently held on to the UK’s No.1 higher education institution position in the 2024 Beauhurst Spotlight on Spinouts report, with 210 spinouts created. 

The university has created over 300 companies including spinouts, startups and social ventures. Oxford is developing fast-growth commercial sectors, including AI with 21 companies located in Oxford’s local authority. 

‘Lack of reliance on outside funding puts us in pole position’

“I am very proud to be leading Oxford University Innovation in our next phase of development,” said Dr Gibbs. “At OUI we create world-class companies and licence game-changing technologies which are helping to solve the world’s biggest problems. 

“We also offer a bespoke academic consultancy service, providing a gateway to over 6,500 experts from more than 50 departments across the University. I want to nurture Oxford’s thriving innovation ecosystem to deliver inclusive economic return and societal benefit for Oxford, the region and the UK.” 

Professor Chas Bountra, pro vice-chancellor of innovation at the University of Oxford, said: “We’re delighted to support Mairi and the Oxford University Innovation team to enter this new chapter. 

“Together we will accelerate the development of Oxford as a global innovation powerhouse and continue to support the UK’s growth and prosperity agenda through world-class science and research commercialisation.”

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