The BioEscalator is an innovation centre for high-potential, early-stage medical science companies; a hub for entrepreneurial biosciences. It is co-located alongside the University’s world-class medical research at Old Road Campus in Headington. The BioEscalator is designed such that early-stage businesses can rent just one bench in the Innovation Lab or a small lab of their own. More than a dozen companies, working on novel diagnostics, therapeutics and platform technologies applicable to a wide range of diseases, have already moved in. The centre was opened by Baroness Nicola Blackwood of North Oxford, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Innovation and is one of four innovation centres in Oxfordshire supported by the government’s City Deal.
Oxford University has announced plans for a new university building on the 10-acre site that is the Radcliffe Observatory Quarter off Walton Street, made possible by a landmark £150 million gift from Mr Schwarzman, a businessman and philanthropist. The Stephen A. Schwarzman Centre for the Humanities (or the Schwarzman Centre) will be a hub for the Humanities - those fields which inform the understanding and appreciation of the human experience - which includes programmes in English, history, linguistics, philology & phonetics, medieval & modern languages, music, philosophy, and theology & religion. It will also house a concert hall and auditorium, as well as performing arts and exhibition spaces designed to used by the University and the public.
Work to build the 180-bed easyHotel on Banbury Road in Summertown (on the site formerly occupied by Majestic Wine) has commenced. The hotel is expected to be open by 2021, but the ground floor is offering commercial leasing opportunities for retail, restaurant, leisure and education businesses from Autumn 2020. The city council gave planning permission for the hotel last year, despite a number of objections. easyHotel's strategy is to target the “super budget” segment of the hotel industry by marketing clean, comfortable and safe hotel rooms to its customers. The company has 36 hotels (25 franchised and 11 owned) in 30 cities.
Plans for a proposed £150m classic car museum on a 63-hectare site that forms part of Enstone Airfield, near Chipping Norton, have been given the go-ahead by councillors at West Oxfordshire District Council. The classic car museum is the vision of Peter Mullin, a US businessman and vintage car collector. The project would include a demonstration track circling the main building and a pavilion to be used by Bentley. It also proposes building 28 holiday-lodges on the site and aims to create 338 jobs. Mr Mullin runs the Mullin Automotive Museum in California.
Waitrose has started a trial of packaging-free shopping aimed by removing plastic from flowers and plants and offering more loose fruit and vegetables. Customers will be able to use their own containers to buy and refill produce such as pasta, rice and cereals. The supermarket chain says it will be the first to offer "pick and mix" frozen fruits which will be cheaper than the packaged equivalent. The trial is taking place at the Botley Road store where Waitrose says hundreds of products have been taken out of their packaging and there will be about double the usual amount of fruit and vegetable package-free. The trial will run until 18 August.
Ai-Da, the world’s first Ultra-Realistic AI humanoid robot artist capable of drawing people from life using her eye and a pencil in her hand, is to open her solo art exhibition at St John’s College on 12 June 2019. Titled Unsecured Futures, Ai-Da’s exhibition will present a selection of Ai-Da’s artwork including drawings, paintings, sculpture and video art. The exhibition will also explore the boundaries between AI, technology, and organic life. The exhibition will be open from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm daily until 06 July. Ai-Da, the brainchild of Gallery Director Aidan Meller was completed in April 2019 and is named after the mathematician Ada Lovelace.