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Prime Minister David Cameron visits portfolio company Oxford Cryosystems

26 February 2014

Prime Minister David Cameron visits portfolio company Oxford Cryosystems

The Prime Minister, David Cameron, recently visited Oxford Cryosystems in Long Hanborough to meet executives and staff from the market-leading manufacturer of specialist scientific instrumentation and software.

During his visit, Mr Cameron toured the production site with Managing Director Richard Glazer and spoke with staff about the local business’s role in supporting British manufacturing and stimulating economic growth.  Also meeting with Mr Cameron were Oxford Cryosystems Chairman Kevin D’Silva, Technical Director Alex Renshaw, Director of Operations Chris Taylor, Chief Finance Officer Rebecca Hoskin, Catapult Ventures Chief Investment Officer Ed Wass, and Professor Mike Glazer and John Cosier, original founders of the company.

Mr Cameron said: “Oxford Cryosystems is a successful example of a British SME operating in a competitive global market at a time of recession: the company is keeping all of its manufacturing and assembly processes in the UK; it is sourcing services and components from local suppliers; and it is exporting products from Oxfordshire to the Orient and beyond.

“Oxfordshire is a hub for innovation, knowledge and expertise and Oxford Cryosystems is no exception.  Companies like Oxford Cryosystems are at the leading edge of the Government’s economic strategy to grow the economy and create jobs and I wish them every success with future developments.”

Oxford Cryosystems designs and manufactures cryogenic coolers used in X-ray diffraction, a leading scientific technique for studying the molecular structure and properties of a wide range of materials including pharmaceutical drugs, metals and DNA.  The company’s range of cooling products are crucial to X-ray diffraction experiments because they can cool samples down to temperatures as low as -261°C (12 Kelvin). These low temperatures provide much clearer data about the molecular structure of sample materials, facilitating scientific advancements across such diverse practical applications as anti-HIV drugs, flat screen televisions, smart fabrics and soil-sampling on the planet Mars.

Mr Cameron’s visit concluded with a demonstration of one of Oxford Cryosystems’ cooler products which is built into the prototype detector for planned use in the first phase of the US$1.5 billion Square Kilometre Array (SKA), an international collaboration in South Africa that is expected to be the largest radio telescope on Earth.

For over 30 years, Oxford Cryosystems has nurtured a loyal customer base and now exports more than 90% of their products to major research facilities and companies in over 60 countries worldwide, helping drive science in both established and emerging markets.  Furthermore, currently over 90% of suppliers to Oxford Cryosystems are British-based.

Managing Director Richard Glazer explains: “At Oxford Cryosystems, we pride ourselves in understanding our users’ needs and are committed to producing high quality products which arethe system of choice in laboratories world-wide for cooling samples in X-ray diffraction experiments. We are delighted to welcome the Prime Minister to our facility and share insights into our business operations.”

Oxford Cryosystems operates from its headquarters at Blenheim Office Park and employs over 20 staff, drawn mostly from local communities.  Their range of products for use in sample cooling has expanded over the last three decades to include liquid-free systems, helium coolers and specially adapted systems for use with powder samples. Today the company is considered to be the global market leader in X-ray diffraction sample cooling.