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Begbroke Science Park > News and Press > Oxfordshire’s Network Navigators connect businesses with funding, facilities and skills training
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Oxfordshire’s Network Navigators connect businesses with funding, facilities and skills training

isfb logoBSP’s Autumn Seminar Series welcomed Dr Colin Johnston, Commercial Manager Oxford Materials Characterisation Services and Network Navigator for Advanced Engineering, as he and fellow navigators unveiled a package of measures designed to put businesses directly in touch with the support they need quickly in order to grow.

The pilot project, launched by Oxfordshire Business Support and backed by the Oxfordshire LEP, has funds of over £2m for this financial year.The funds will be directed into a package of measures including match funding without an equity stake; business activations, and innovation vouchers giving businesses 50% discount on skills training and facilities, which are straightforward to access.

The nine Network Navigators, covering the full spectrum of businesses operating across Oxfordshire, from Cryogenics to retailers, will connect businesses within and across sectors, identifying and plugging the gaps in support.

Wendy Tindsley of Growth Accelerator, one of the organisations already linked to the programme, commented that the “planned serendipity” of bringing together like-minded entrepreneurs from different business sectors often resulted in significantly moving the pace of development forward for both.

Dr Johnston gave examples of facilities available to businesses in his sector using the vouchers which could include materials characterisation; process improvement and reverse engineering processes offered by OMCS at Begbroke. John O’Brien, MD of Low Carbon Maintenance & Buildings (LCMB), acknowledged that the scheme driven by the Network Navigators was “a fantastic offering, and the innovation voucher process very easy to go through”.

It’s hoped this unique scheme will have demonstrable tangible benefits, creating new jobs, safeguarding jobs and engaging over 900 businesses. The Oxfordshire LEP has secured further European backing to support the scheme to 2020.

Begbroke’s autumn breakfast seminar series continues on 16 October when ISIS Innovation join us to introduce new schemes to help commercialise research. Book your FREE space now by emailing or for further information on the series see here.
Notes to editors
For more information about working with Begbroke Science Park go to
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For more information on the Network Navigators go to
For more information about Oxfordshire Business Support visit

Joanna Grant