SQW & Oxford Innovation merge & to IPO

SQW and Oxford Innovation have merged, both focus on economic development and regeneration, technology commercialisation and business support for high growth companies in the UK. The expectation is that the new group (of over 150 employees in six locations across the UK) will grow significantly with the objective of preparing for a stock market flotation in two to three years.

SQW works mainly with public sector clients at national, regional and local scales in the UK, and internationally, providing strategic and action-oriented advice on a range of issues including: urban and rural regeneration; national policies on science, innovation and business development; skills development and social inclusion policies; and public service performance. SQW is known for producing ‘The Cambridge Phenomenon’, a defining report that brought Cambridge’s high tech industry to worldwide attention.

Oxford Innovation is the UK’s leading operator of Innovation Centres and currently provides premises in 12 centres that include new buildings at

Silverstone and the Portsmouth Technopole, to over 350 fast-growth technology companies, a number of which have floated on the London Stock Exchange’s Alternative Investment Market (AIM.) It also delivers innovation services for government, such as the Innovation Advisory Service South East, a new regional initiative to encourage innovation in SMEs funded by SEEDA.

Ian Laing, an Oxford-based property entrepreneur and business angel investor, becomes the new group chairman. He said: “The merger had the unanimous backing of both sets of shareholders and will enable the group company to scale up its operations, as its geographical coverage expands.”

SQW’s managing director, Chris Green, becomes group CEO. He said: “We will continue to use the distinctive SQW and Oxford Innovation brands but as a group we are now in a position to provide an extensive and unique range of services right across the spectrum of project design, specification, implementation and review.”

Oxford Innovation’s chief executive, Dr David Kingham, becomes COO, Innovation Services.