Begbroke Living Lab

The University is committed to facilitate access for researchers and staff to the Begbroke Innovation District development. You can develop and participate in teaching, research and innovation projects at the heart of the development by registering your interest or submitting a proposal.


Currently, we are accepting project proposals until 30th June 2023, which we will review on a rolling basis. Project activities can start and take place beyond the application deadline. Project proposals may involve students, community partners or businesses and may cover research, teaching or innovation activities. Projects can last anywhere from a one-off event all the way to a long-term, longitudinal study.


By developing a ‘Living-Lab’ framework, Begbroke can become a site where innovative ideas, practices and products can be tested in a real-life environment where businesses, research and the public coalesce.

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As the Begbroke site development progresses, research questions and opportunities to collaborate will be brought up by the developers and other partners. To stay up to date with the latest opportunities, please provide your contact information on this form.

You can submit a project proposal that details your planned activities by filling in this form

Your proposal will be reviewed, and we will get in touch within 2 weeks to discuss feasibility and put you in touch with the relevant teams. Site access will be granted based on your access needs, site capacity, feasibility, and potential for impact.

Details on eligibility, scope of projects, funding and on-site support can be found below.


Projects will initially be led by part- or full-time Oxford University researchers and staff (including OUI and Colleges). We encourage students, businesses and community members to be involved in the developments of Living Lab projects and to be listed as collaborators whenever possible.

Scope of proposals

The ‘Living Lab’ pilot aims to support research, innovation, and knowledge exchange projects directed towards one of- or at the intersection of the following Begbroke Innovation District elements:

  • The Built Environment
  • Land Use
  • People and Community
  • Fostering innovation

A non-exhaustive range of themes has been identified as suitable workstreams on the Begbroke site:

  • Wellbeing
  • Placemaking
  • Education
  • Biodiversity
  • Agriculture and food systems
  • Nature-based solutions
  • Sustainable construction
  • Archaeology
  • Data and digital
  • Energy systems
  • Connected and autonomous vehicles

We welcome both short- and long-term projects focused on the existing Begbroke site or the future developments of the site. Projects with external partners such as businesses or community groups are encouraged to apply.


This pilot is supported by the Knowledge Exchange Seed Fund, which can provide up to £5,000 of funding directed towards supporting knowledge exchange activities. This funding can cover a breadth of knowledge exchange activities. You can find more information about the KE Seed Fund here. For the year 2022-2023, KE Seed Fund awards have to be spent by June 30th 2023.

We also accept proposals that are already supported by existing internal or external funding.

If you would like to feature ‘Living Lab’ activities in a grant proposal, please contact the team to discuss feasibility first.

Support and facilities on site

Teams in Estates, Begbroke Science Park and OUD aim to support Living Lab activities as best as they can during the pilot phase. 
Use of existing on-site facilities and resources may be included and will be assessed for each application, limited to project-specific activities, and depending on availability.


We are currently accepting project proposals on a rolling basis, until 30th June 2023 in the first instance. We are open to discussing proposals of any given time lengths.

The current Begbroke site

The Begbroke site is a 168 hectare/415 acre University-owned plot of land in north Oxford, in proximity to the villages of Yarnton, Begbroke and Kidlington. At the centre of surrounding farmlands sits the Oxford University Science Park of Begbroke. Begbroke Science Park is home to two academic departments, science and tech companies, Oxford University spin-outs and start-ups, and is currently doubling in size with two buildings planned to be completed by 2024. Begbroke Science Park has incubated, accelerated, and contributed to the successful growth of multiple high growth R&D businesses from the University of Oxford and Oxfordshire eco-system, including Oxford Nanopore and Oxford Photovoltaics. However, demand for space consistently outstrips supply.

The Begbroke Innovation District development

A comprehensive £1.2bn mixed-use innovation district development scheme centred on the expanded Science Park is being delivered through the University’s Joint Venture partnership with Legal and General. Oxford University Development Limited (OUD) is the development manager. The innovation district comprises university and commercial research laboratories and supporting offices, up to 900 energy efficient affordable rented homes, up to 900 market for sale homes, schools, community spaces, shops, cafes, living streets, sustainable transport improvements, nature reserve, nature conservation areas, public parks, playgrounds, sports grounds and other amenities. The project is in planning stage, an outline planning application for the masterplan will be submitted in the summer of 2023. Construction will begin in 2025 and the aim is for the innovation district to target net zero carbon, sustainable development status by the time of its completion in up to 15 years’ time and to achieve 20% biodiversity net gain with 50% public open space.

If you have any questions, please contact the Begbroke Living Lab team at 

For advice and support on the development of your proposal plans and ideas, and external sources of funding please contact your Departmental Research Facilitator.