the vitaccess team

Huge growth helps digital health start-up land place in business awards final

An Oxford-based digital health business has been identified as one of the region’s top three tech start-ups, having grown its workforce by 500 per cent in just 18 months.

Vitaccess, based at the Oxford Centre for Innovation in New Road, has been shortlisted for the Tech Nation Rising Stars Awards.

This comes on the back of sustained success during 2018 in which Chief Executive Officer, Dr Mark Larkin, was named Regulatory Tech Founder of the Year in the BMWi UK Tech Founder Awards.

He was also named runner-up in the CIS Technology Excellence Awards in the Oxfordshire Business Awards and shortlisted as Start-Up Entrepreneur of the Year 2018 in the Natwest Great British Entrepreneur Awards.

A trusted research partner of pharmaceutical companies, clinicians and patient associations, Vitaccess produces real-time data on how diseases and treatments impact people’s everyday lives based on information from tailor-made smartphone apps.

Having launched the business single-handedly in Switzerland in 2014,  Dr Mark Larkin set up its headquarters at the Oxford Centre for Innovation in 2017, expanding his team from three employees to 18 in just 18 months.

Dr Helen Williams, Director of Operations at Vitaccess, said: “We initially set up camp in a shared drop-in workspace at The POD, at the Oxford Centre for Innovation. We were fighting for desks, there was not enough room. The fantastic facilities at the Oxford Centre for Innovation meant we could expand and remain on site.”

Working in the oncology and rare diseases fields, Vitaccess has developed a real-world evidence generation platform currently applied to five live apps gathering wider evidence of peoples’ everyday lives outside of clinical trials. Localised and accessible from all over the world, each app contains reliable knowledge features as well as symptom diaries allowing people to easily note changes in their condition and relay the information to their healthcare team as they wish.

Successful partnerships with clients including Pharnext and bluebird bio led to an internal move into a new 280 sq ft base. Further expansion into another 650 sq ft office will take place in March.

Helen added: “Reaching the final of the Tech Nation Rising Stars awards is a perfect example of why the Oxford Centre for Innovation has been so good for us. Being recognised as one of the UK’s most exciting tech start-ups and named as one of the top three tech start-ups in the South East is testament to the quality of the ground-breaking work we are carrying out from our Oxford base.

From the cost-effective facilities to the central location we are delighted with our set-up here in Oxford. We have received invaluable support from the team at the Oxford Centre for Innovation.

Our revenue tripled last year and since moving into OCFI 18 months ago, we are planning a move into our third office and have grown to a team of 18. Early indications show we are in for a good year – January revenue was 30 per cent up on the whole of last year.”

Mike Foster, Director of the Oxford Centre for Innovation, said: “It is amazing to be involved in a successful 18 months of growth for a business that has been built up through passion and determination.

“This success story is testament to the support provided for all of the businesses based at the Oxford Centre for Innovation.”

Vitaccess is one of 20 companies invited to pitch to a panel of renowned judges, including Warwick Hill, Senior MD and Head of Microsoft for Startups,at a Grand Final taking place at London’s Rich Mix on Tuesday 5 March.

The Oxford Centre for Innovation provides serviced office space solutions for growing and start-up businesses. As well as this, tenants can take advantage of on-site business growth coaching services and training workshops.

About Vitaccess

Vitaccess is an award-winning digital health and strategic consultancy, founded in 2014. Based in Oxford, UK, but with a truly global reach,Vitaccess offers a world-class real-world evidence (RWE) data portfolio and data science research via MyRealWorld™, our state-of-the-art digital platform, and experience-based Market Access and Health Economics and Outcomes Research (HEOR) solutions.

Our heritage in HEOR and Market Access makes us a trusted partner to the pharmaceutical industry. We understand the importance of scientific rigour in RWE studies, as well as the complexities of information governance – including GDPR and HIPAA. Industry standards have been applied to the creation of our pioneering and flexible digital platform, MyRealWorld™, through which we capture RWE in real-time, to be transmitted in aggregated, anonymized form to customizable and interactive research dashboards.

Read more here

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Silverstone Park

Silverstone Park “the place to be to grow and succeed as a business”

Carter Jonas helps secure seven businesses to Silverstone Park.

Dragon Racing along with six other companies have located to MEPC’s Silverstone Park, the business estate on the Bucks-Northants border, in the first few weeks of 2019. Combined, the seven lettings total 35,000 sq ft of commercial accommodation.

Dragon Racing is a team competing in the world’s premier electric motor racing championship, FIA Formula E. It is the second Formula E team to make Silverstone Park its home – Envision Virgin Racing already occupies over 10,000 sq ft of property on the site.

“We are delighted to have located to Silverstone Park,” commented Dragon Team Manager Gary Holland.

“There’s a lot of innovation and future thinking with the technologies we are developing in Formula E and, importantly, Silverstone Park offers us the correct infrastructure to achieve this.



“The estate is at the heart of the Silverstone Technology Cluster so has an enviable supply of world class engineers and technicians and high-tech and manufacturing expertise which is now right on our doorstep. Its connections to the business community are also first rate.

“For us it is absolutely the place to be if we are to grow and succeed as a business.”

All seven new leases (including Dragon’s) were completed in the first few weeks of 2019, ranging from large industrial units and R&D workshops to office space.

The companies concerned operate in a variety of sectors including high-tech engineering (electric vehicles, motorsport, esports and security), travel/ logistics and recruitment/headhunting. They are: Dragon Racing; Lunaz Design; AF Corse UK; Edge Tech; Pro-vide Global Ltd; Virtually Entertained; Supernova 360 Ltd.

Lunaz Design and AF Corse UK have moved into a total of 22,500 sq ft of industrial premises which form part of MEPC’s latest speculative development totalling 125,000 sq ft and benefit from Enterprise Zone status.

Edge Tech, Pro-vide Global Ltd, Virtually Entertained and Supernova 360 Ltd have taken new flexible leases on serviced offices (260 sq ft to 550 sq ft) in the estate’s Innovation Centre.

Further to this new growth, MEPC has confirmed that all companies with lease breaks and expiries in the first few weeks of 2019 have chosen to stay and grow at Silverstone Park, based on market deals.

MEPC is currently working on a reserved matters application for a further 255,000 sq ft of new accommodation on its development land at the estate, which is already serviced with 21 MVAs of new power and benefits from business rates relief as a result of continuing Enterprise Zone status.

MEPC’s Roz Bird, Commercial Director at Silverstone Park, said: “This latest influx of seven new companies and retention of current occupiers is a great start to 2019, especially following so quickly after more than 40,000 sq ft of property was let to four businesses who located here in August 2018.



“It again highlights how MEPC’s development of the estate in terms of infrastructure, facilities, presentation, networking and connectivity with industry is acting as a magnet for innovative businesses with growth ambitions.



“We are delighted to be working on plans to bring forward further accommodation at Silverstone Park, to meet market demand. Any company interested in the Silverstone Park address is encouraged to make contact and arrange a meeting or viewing.

“We are keen to hear from all companies, including those only scenario planning, and also to find out more about a company’s needs and aspirations for the future, so we can start planning accordingly.”

Local and national letting agents for Silverstone Park are Carter Jonas and DTRE.

Jon Silversides, Commercial Partner at Carter Jonas, enthused: “We are delighted to have played an important role in securing these new occupiers for Silverstone Park.

“Since instruction we have quickly come to appreciate the draw of both Silverstone and the growing technology cluster to occupiers.

“Whilst two of the new occupiers are in the motorsport industry, nevertheless we are seeing growing levels of interest from a much wider scope of companies which bodes well for the future phases of development under consideration. We very much look forward to the next few months as we are able to release plans for these developments.”

DTRE’s Jamie Catherall added: “The latest lettings highlight occupiers’ continued demand for high quality space at Silverstone Park.



“We look forward to welcoming these new occupiers to site and continue to work hard on expanding the Park with more development planned for the near future.”

Click here for all current Availability options at Silverstone Park.

Carter Jonas

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Salman Khan

James Cowper Kreston partners Visit India

Managing Partner, Robert Holland, alongside partners Alex Peal and Meera Rajah, have recently returned from an excursion to meet with both new and current clients in India.

The firm has a strong pipeline in South East Asia, which is headed up by Meera, and involves many sectors of the firm. This particular trip involved visiting the sets of several upcoming full length feature films where the team were able to witness first-hand the work that goes into each project.

The Media team at James Cowper Kreston work closely with film producers to ensure all international tax liabilities are managed effectively and assist production teams to claim available film tax reliefs in the UK. The team also provide support in many other financial areas.

“We secured eight new projects during this visit,” says Meera. “And were fortunate enough to visit the sets of a few of the projects we are currently working on. Alex and I were given the opportunity to meet Salman Khan, who is one of the biggest stars in Indian cinema today, along with his co-stars. Being on set allows us to gain a first-hand look at the films on which we are working and means we can speak to our clients face to face, allowing for better communication.”

“It’s always fascinating to visit the set of projects,” says Alex. “The amount of work that goes into making a production of this magnitude is astonishing and we are very proud to be a part of it. Working with international clients allows us to gain a better understanding of the country’s tax and VAT legislation which in turn helps us to provide a better service in the long run.”

For more information on James Cowper Kreston’s media team please visit the website www.jamescowperkreston.co.uk

James Cowper Kreston

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Post Brexit Oxfordshire

A post-brexit economy: Oxfordshire businesses remain ‘unclear’ on what EU withdrawal will bring

A joint-OxLEP and ‘Oxfordshire Voice’ survey reveals Brexit uncertainty across many of the county’s businesses.

Just weeks ahead of the UK’s scheduled European Union withdrawal, members of one of Oxfordshire’s best-known business networking groups appear to be unclear as to what Brexit might mean to them – that’s according to a new survey.

The survey – jointly-led by the Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (OxLEP) and B4’s ‘Oxfordshire Voice’ – saw members of B4 respond to a series of Brexit-related statements.

In it, survey respondents stated whether they agreed or disagreed with statements, covering several Brexit topics including; if leaving the EU was good for their business, whether or not Government had been communicating effectively with business on Brexit matters, as well as what Brexit might mean for future recruitment plans.

Only 13 per cent of respondents felt that their business would be better-off as a direct consequence of the UK’s EU withdrawal, with over two-thirds (71 per cent) disagreeing, saying that the move would not benefit their business.

Regarding the Prime Minister Theresa May’s initial EU withdrawal deal proposal – which was defeated in Parliament on 15 January – just 15 per cent agreed that the proposal would be a good deal for their own business. Over half (55 per cent) disagreed.

When asked if Mrs May’s initial deal would be good for UK business as a whole, 19 per cent agreed that it would be positive with close to two-thirds disagreeing (61 per cent).

A high-proportion of businesses surveyed were also critical of the level of Brexit information received directly from Government.

Just six per cent said their business had received the right level of information regarding what action to take as a consequence of the EU withdrawal – almost three quarters (71 per cent) disagreed.

Almost eight out of 10 (78 per cent) believed that the Prime Minister’s defeated EU withdrawal deal had not been presented in an effective manner, with just eight per cent believing that it had.

However, a third of respondents (35 per cent) did add that should no EU withdrawal deal be struck by the Government, that they felt prepared as a business – though 41 per cent didn’t agree with this view.

Perhaps surprisingly, only one in five respondents (20 per cent) felt that Oxfordshire is well-set to cope with the EU withdrawal, whatever deal ends-up being struck – despite being just one of just three net County areas that contribute to the exchequer with a GVA of £23bn a year – with just over half of those who responded (53 per cent) disagreeing.

Nigel Tipple, Chief Executive of OxLEP, said: “As discussions on the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union continue at a pace – as a Local Enterprise Partnership – it is important that we ‘temperature test’ our business community and relay their views to Government.

“Clearly, some of our business community have genuine concerns across several areas of the negotiations and reassurance is needed.

“Oxfordshire’s economy is undoubtedly a strong and adaptable one. We have an excellent record of supporting small businesses to survive beyond five years and it was recently-announced that 50,000 new jobs have been created in the county between 2012 and 2017.

“We believe business in Oxfordshire can continue to thrive post-Brexit, on both a national and international scale.”

In addition, those who took part in the survey were generally undecided as to whether Brexit would alter the make-up of workforces, as well as the ability to recruit quality staff.

A total of 30 per cent of respondents agreed that the make-up of their workforce would change as a direct consequence of the UK’s EU withdrawal, with 38 per cent disagreeing – meanwhile, 38 per cent also felt they would find it harder to recruit the right calibre of staff as a direct consequence of the UK’s EU withdrawal, with 32 per cent disagreeing.

Richard Rosser – Chief Executive of B4, the organisation which leads Oxfordshire Voice – added: “The survey findings reflect the general disarray which prevails. Following recession and the protracted Brexit ‘era’, the only certainty that the business community can rely on is that there will always be uncertainty and Brexit is proving to be the mother ship of all uncertainty at present.

“It’s great to see an element of the business community feeling positive about the future of the local economy, however, there will always be a cautious approach from a sizeable group which will act as a natural brake to growth.

“We’re seeing decision-making on orders in many businesses we deal with taking longer and this breeds even more uncertainty. The key areas of concern, which we are addressing through Oxfordshire Voice, notably skills, housing, transport and social / environmental issues, will still be here irrespective of what course the country takes, so, either way, my personal view is that whatever happens, solving the key challenges on our doorstep has to be our focus.”

For more information – including the latest Government advice on Brexit – go to: www.oxfordshirelep.com/brexit.

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Oxfordshire Voice Housing Forum

Business Leaders and Town Planners Launch Initiative to Tell More Home Truths about Housing

Crisis? What crisis?

When it comes to housing Oxfordshire’s workforce that’s the new message from a cross-section of the county’s planning and business community.

They say there are many serious issues facing the region and the shortfall in the number of affordable homes for its workforce is the most pressing.

But, they also say a negative perception over the way the issues are being handled is overshadowing the far brighter reality and discouraging thousands of much-needed employees from coming to live and work in Oxfordshire.

Now, town planners, elected officials and the business community are coming together on a mission to explain the real issues facing the county and its housing problems and what is being done to address them.

Through the Oxfordshire Voice organisation (oxvoice.co.uk) they have launched an initiative to ensure the public get a much clearer and more accurate picture of what is being done to solve the housing shortage facing the country.

Nigel Tipple – Chief Executive of the Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (OxLEP) said: “We are recognised globally as a place that can support innovation-led growth, greater productivity and major ‘place potential’ as we move towards an ever-increasing internationally-focussed economy – and with a GVA of £23billion per annum – we are one of only three net county contributors to the Exchequer.

“We also have a track record of nurturing genuine innovation and taking it to a world-stage, whilst – between 2012 and 2017 – we have seen a total of 50,000 new jobs created in the county.

“With this demand, it’s really important that – as a county – we create forums for discussion between business, local authorities and property developers to improve the diversity and availability of quality housing for our communities.”

This misconception was highlighted in a recent Oxfordshire Voice survey which found more than nine out of ten (95%) business people in the county think there is a looming housing crisis and a lack of vision and management skills amongst planning organisations to address it.

However, at the Oxfordshire Voice forum, it was agreed this widespread misconception needed to be addressed to set the record straight and provide people with easy to access information on what housing options are available now and in the future.

That forum was held at Blenheim Palace – which is also undertaking a multi-million-pound community and house building scheme.

“Oxfordshire needs more affordable homes for our children and grandchildren and if we are to attract and retain teachers and nurses for our schools and hospitals. The market alone cannot be relied upon to do that so the challenge for Oxfordshire is how public, private and third sector partners can work together to influence the market.” says Paul Staines from the Oxfordshire Growth Board.

Bob Price – former city council Leader – reinforced the Growth Board claims. He says of the hundred thousand new homes already designated, 19,000 have already been built. The rate of new home construction has accelerated substantially in the past three years in line with the Housing and Growth Deal.

“To meet the 102,000 figure, we need an improvement in construction industry capabilities – skilled workers, capital investment and material supplies,” he says.

The waiting lists for social housing across the county add up to around 10,000 families. This highlights the need for a massive increase in the supply of social homes for rent.

Jayne Woodley of Oxfordshire Community Foundation agrees: “The real issue should not be between social and affordable,” she says. “Affordable housing should mean affordable housing. That’s a range of homes which are affordable to everyone who needs to put a roof over their head.”

“There are a host of very attractive and workable schemes in place already which will meet many of the housing demands for people working in the county – whatever their income,” says Simon Howson-Green from Oxfordshire Voice. “We are now working together under the Oxfordshire Voice banner to make sure people know this.”

The OV forum debated the pros and cons of releasing some green belt land to create more homes and build communities. The hundreds of acres of brownfield land which is currently laying fallow were also discussed.  Bringing the cost not housing down to suit everyone pocket is dependent on finding more land on which to build.

“Oxfordshire faces a real challenge in delivering 100,000 houses in the period to 2031, however, the unique mix of land ownership where many of the landowners have very long term roots in the area including Blenheim and the Oxford Colleges does present an opportunity to do things differently and create a long term positive legacy for both themselves and the county,” says Roger File of Blenheim Palace.

The forum concluded the problem is one of perception. Companies are desperate to bring workers into Oxfordshire. It’s a thriving business community with huge potential. But the failure to inform people of home building plans in the pipeline or the range of ownership and rental schemes available is persuading potential workers to strike Oxfordshire off their wish list of places to live and work before they know the facts.

“You can sum up the communication problem like this,” says Kate Faulkner – a property expert in the private sector.

“Employers offer people a job and before anyone agrees to an interview, they log on to Rightmove. This gives a very skewed snapshot of the housing market and gives the impression that buying a home here is beyond most people’s reach.”

“We need a far more effective approach to telling the housing story and letting people see the range of buying and renting options available.” says Richard Rosser of Oxfordshire Voice “That’s where this initiative with Oxfordshire Voice comes in.”

Upcoming Oxfordshire Voice Events

Connectivity Conference at Unipart House (Open to all)
Date: 15th February 2019
Tickets: https://ov-connectivity.eventbrite.co.uk

OV Forum at St Catherine’s College (Open to OV Partners only)
Date: 21st February 2019
Tickets: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/february-oxfordshire-voice-forum-tickets-52255260892

More about the Oxfordshire Voice forum:

See also links below to pictures and footage from the Oxfordshire Voice forum:
Housing Documentary: https://youtu.be/IKO5FcdUUrc
Photos: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmzYngb4

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