Creative Destruction Lab – Oxford supporting UK and European innovators to tackle crisis recovery challenges

Founders and innovators from across UK and beyond are being invited to apply for a virtual rapid response programme.

CDL Recovery will help tackle various aspects of economic recovery from the Covid-19 crisis.

The programme has been launched by the Creative Destruction Lab (CDL), a global not-for-proMt science and tech start-up mentoring programme. It has eight locations globally, including Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford.

The new programme aims to transform technological innovations into u seful products and services that address the public health and economic recovery challenges created by the global Covid-19 crisis.

Using CDL’s proven objective-setting model, it will match founders with a global network of mentors, scientists, economists and investors, as well as public and private sector partners. Successful teams will participate in a series of sessions, delivered virtually, between April and August, with the goal of growing an ambitious venture or initiative from there on.

CDL Recovery addresses two broad areas:

  • Public health (e.g., diagnostic tests, vaccines, remote treatments, telemedicine)
  • Economic recovery (e.g. virtual work, retraining, remote operation, automation, food supply) challenges that are emerging in the current crisis.

Professor Thomas Hellmann, who leads CDL-Oxford at Saïd Business School, will be chairing the public health stream. He says:

‘CDL Recovery will help to reinvigorate the new post-crises economy. Innovators from across the UK and beyond are already busy tackling a large variety of crises related challenges. This programme will convene experienced entrepreneurs, health experts, and other business leaders to provide bespoke mentoring to innovators, in order to turn their good intentions into impactful outcomes, be they commercial ventures, social enterprises, or civic initiatives.’

UK Science Minister, Amanda Solloway, said:

‘It is great to see businesses and researchers coming together to support the UK’s innovators and entrepreneurs in their response to the coronavirus outbreak. This programme will provide them with a platform to turn their ideas into solutions to address the unique challenges presented by the pandemic.’
Sir John Bell, the Regius Professor of Medicine at the University of Oxford, adds:

‘CDL Recovery will play a key role in helping the UK to recover from the current crises. It will bring together leaders from the health and business communities in the UK, Europe, and North America. Together they will guide those courageous entrepreneurs who are tackling the numerous challenges faced by our public health systems.’

Sir Chris Deverell, the former Commander of the UK’s Joint Forces, is a CDL-Oxford mentor. He describes the CDL experience:

‘I recently completed a 40-year career in the Armed Forces, the last 15 years of which entailed leading large organisations through constant change necessitated by the emergence of new threats, budgetary pressures, and the onset of the 4th Industrial Revolution.

‘My experience of success and failure in these endeavours has taught me to recognise the central importance of innovation. CDL has designed a system which beautifully aligns the incentives of the hosting academic institution, mentors, investors, and the founders of early stage ventures. And it works, having helped to nurture start-ups delivering new products and services to customers, with an equity value of over £2bn.’

Applications to CDL Recovery are now open. All types of innovative teams may apply, including start-ups, corporations, informal collaborations, sole inventors, social impact ventures, and not-for-proMt initiatives.

CDL Recovery follows the traditional CDL program structure at twice the regular cadence. There are no fees for participation and CDL does not take any equity. For more information, visit the website.


By UKBAA23 Apr 2020