The Oxford Martin School was founded as the James Martin 21st Century School at the University of Oxford in 2005 through the vision and generosity of Dr James Martin. The School is a unique, interdisciplinary research initiative addressing key global future challenges. In 2009, a $50 million matched funding challenge was initiated by Dr James Martin. The Challenge was an unprecedented success, matching the donations of 30 different donors (individual philanthropists, charities, corporations and research bodies) and creating 19 new research programmes to join membership of the School. As a result of this expansion, the School relaunched under the new name of Oxford Martin School in Autumn 2010.
A key aim of the School is to mitigate the most pressing risks and realise exciting new opportunities of the 21st century. With interdisciplinary teams of researchers from across the university, the School is working on the frontiers of knowledge in four broad areas: health and medicine; energy and environment; technology and society; and ethics and governance. Aiming to have an impact beyond academia, the School also develops wide-ranging initiatives, intellectual programmes and public events to engage with national and international policymakers, business, students and the general public.