Magnetic Venture: The Story of Oxford Instruments

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9780199241088: Magnetic Venture: The Story of Oxford Instruments

Oxford Instruments is one of the UK's real success stories--a science-based company that has evolved from its earliest beginnings in a garden shed to become a world leader in applied superconductivity. This first-hand account details this evolution, focusing on the enterpreneurial skill of Sir Martin Wood and how the company has become a model for the new science-based university spin-offs.

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About the Author:

Audrey Wood was the co-founder of Oxford Instruments with her husband Martin, and remained a director until 1983 when it became a public company. Born in China, she was later educated at Cambridge University where she read both Natural Sciences and English Literature. For various periods in its early history, Audrey Wood was in charge of the company's administration, finance, marketing, and publicity, in addition to holding the legal position of Company Secretary until 1982. She travelled extensively to hold exhibitions and to visit customers in Russia, Eastern and Western Europe, USA, Japan, and Australia. Audrey Wood resigned from the Board in 1983 when Oxford Instruments was floated on the stock exchange, but has remained in close contact with the company.

Review:

`beautifully told'
Chemistry in Britian

`Although this is a serious and detailed thesis, there are several touches of apparently effortless natural humour.'
Nick Kerley, Physics World, July 2001

`Much of the information will make excellent material for students in business studies and economics. Anyone thinking of attempting a similar business route would be well advised to study this book in detail.'
Nick Kerley, Physics World, July 2001

`this story is much more than just a diary of events; it is a lesson of vision, foresight and determination that eventually led to success, sometimes against the odds. It is a classic tale of innovation, invention and technology transfer'
Nick Kerley, Physics World, July 2001

`Magnetic Venture provides a valuable, detailed account of the development of Oxford Instruments. The book is unusual, being less the history than the autobiography of a business. Audrey - for 24 years a director and key figure - is an insider reporting events in which she participated. With
her access to the firm's folk memory and records and her perceptive approach, she provides a unique account of a pioneering business.'
THES

`This is a book for two audiences. Those interested in start-up companies can ponder the huge technical and management challenges that a pioneering small business faced and how they were tackled. The bigger questions are for universities, not least because the book show one kind of
university-linked entrepreneur exerting an influence far beyond his business.'
THES

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