Contact Details

Atlas Centre , Harwell Campus, Didcot, OX11 OQX

  • Tel 01793 442 000

Science and Technology Facilities Council

STFC is a UK Research Council which funds and delivers science and technology to advance our knowledge of the Universe.  We use our expertise, capabilities and facilities to drive industrial innovation.

We support Oxfordshire’s high-tech entrepreneurs and SMEs through a range of tailored innovation opportunities, initiatives and collaborations including:

Our Harwell Oxford campus where companies in our network or located on site can benefit from:

  • Business support and incubation programmes such as our award-winning Innovations Technology Access Centre and ESA Business Incubation Centre
  • State-of-the-art laboratory facilities, equipment and technical expertise
  • Technology transfer opportunities from organisations such as ESA and CERN
  • Innovation, cluster and networking events and funding opportunities
  • Commercial exploitation of STFC and university academic research
  • Industrial access to big science facilities for collaborative research and development

Why is Venturefest the best?

Venturefest is the best because it embodies what we’re all about – inspirational innovation that impacts our lives.  At Venturefest we showcase and share our world-leading intellectual property, inventions, expertise and capabilities with entrepreneurs and businesses – helping to make Harwell Oxford and Oxfordshire the birthplace of high-tech companies.


[email protected]


Tim Bestwick

Executive Director of Business and Innovation

Dr Tim Bestwick is Executive Director of Business and Innovation at STFC. Tim is responsible for developing the campuses (of which Harwell is the largest), working with businesses and producing new spin-out companies and licensing technology. He is an engineer by background, educated at Cambridge University and London Business School, and has spent much of his career in technology companies large and small.

Elizabeth Kirby

Head of Innovation

Dr Elizabeth Kirby is Head of Innovation, part of the Business and Innovation directorate at STFC working to increase the economic and societal impact from STFC’s research and innovation. Liz manages a team who are focused on developing STFC-owned intellectual property opportunities - arising in the STFC National Laboratories - into commercial licenses and spin-out companies.

Liz has a degree in Chemistry and a DPhil in Physical Chemistry from the University of Oxford. She joined the commercial team in a start-up company spun-out of Oxford University, and built-up expertise in intellectual property management and IP strategy. Later Liz spent 7 years at the University of Reading as their IP/Legal Advisor. In 2012 Liz joined STFC as Licensing Manager and is based at the STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory.

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