A British entrepreneur has opened an office in Raleigh and hired a representative in what he says are the first moves toward creating a “innovation/incubator” at NC State’s Centennial Campus.

John Laurie, chairman of Oxford Innovation, Ltd., which is based in the UK, said the North Carolina operation will likely be called “The Oxford/RTP Innovation Centre”. Laurie said he has opened 13 such centers in the UL where 220 companies are located.

In a press release, Laurie said he has hired Bob Linton to run the Raleigh operation. He also is working with the Corporate Investment Center in Raleigh.

“The goal of the Centre would be to incubate new North Carolina advanced manufacturing ventures, just as we currently do in our UK centers,” Laurie said, “and to collaborate with local scientists and engineers on advanced manufacturing techniques for scientific equipment and medical diagnostic devices.”

Laurie said his decision was based in part of the state’s new initiatives in the biotech industry, including funding for the creation of a biomanufacturing training center at NCSU.

Laurie added that he was interested in Corporate Investment Center’s plans to create a “regional closed end mutual fund” for late-stage biotech investments.

Oxford Innovation is a spin-out from The Oxford Trust, which was established in 1985. The trust was created by the founders of Oxford Instruments plc.

Oxford Innovation: www.oxin.co.uk