Oxford University’s innovation arm has announced its 150th company: an augmented and virtual reality startup, 6Degrees.
The company has been spun out of Oxford University Innovation (OUI), the research commercialisation company at the famous university. Companies are created within OUI using research developed at Oxford, before being spun out into high tech companies.
OUI also has its own incubator programme which has helped to create 29 startups since 2011.
The 150th spinoff, 6Degrees, comes at an exciting moment in augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) tech.
The startup uses technology developed by an associate professor in information engineering at Oxford, Victor Adrian Prisacariu, so users can record any environment for VR by scanning their surroundings with their smartphone. It gives any smartphone owner the ability to create virtual worlds, rather than rely on specialist equipment.
The chief executive at OUI, Matt Perkins, said 6Degrees is an excellent addition to the OUI ecosystem as its 150th company.
At the present rate, we’ll hit spinout 300 in the next seven to eight years. Looking forward, this raises the question of how to turn these spinouts into sustainable, large-scale and world-leading businesses. We in the Oxford innovation ecosystem invite the wider world to help us rise to that challenge.
Here are some of the other Oxford startups to know from OUI
A vaccine delivery company, PowderJect was spun out of OUI in 1993. It pioneered the needle-less injection and was sold for £800m in 2003 to the US pharmaceutical group Chiron.
2. Nightstar Therapeutics
This biotechnology company was developed to focus on gene therapy treatments for inherited retinal diseases, like choroideremia, which causes progressive vision loss. It was spun out of OUI in 2014 and filed for an $86m IPO (initial price offering) in the US earlier this year.
Artificial intelligence (AI) startup DiffBlue made the headlines earlier this year when it raised $22m in Series A funding, a year after it left OUI. Its backers included the likes of Goldman Sachs. The startup wants to automate all traditional coding tasks in order to make code safer, better and easier to produce.
Another AI firm, Oxbotica is using its artificial intelligence skills to develop self-driving technologies. It launched its autonomous tech, Selenium, last year. The firm says the system gives vehicles “next generation level of intelligence” so it can perform tasks such as motion control, braking and obstacle detection autonomously.
Its software has completed over 100km of autonomous driving in Greenwich, London, as part of the Gateway Project.
OxStem is tackling conditions like dementia, heart failure, diabetes and cancer using pioneering stem cell research. It plans to develop small molecule drugs that can activate repair mechanisms that already exist within the body in order to revolutionise healthcare. It raised $22m last year in funding for its early-stage trials.