Sir Martin Wood and his wife, Lady Wood, teamed up to find a business that manufactured superconducting magnets in 1959. Initially, Sir Martin Wood started as a project tied to the University of Oxford, but he decoupled the business from the University to pursue its commercial potential. The company opened the first major factory in Osney Mead, Oxford. At this factory, the company developed and manufactured the first superconducting magnet, which helped create the first magnetic resonance imaging scanner.
Oxford Instruments Plc operates through two major segments where it research, develops, and manufactures technology tools and systems for industry. The Nanotechnology Tools segment offers tools that go into semiconductors as well as that find application in metallurgy, forensics, and renewable energy sectors. The Service segment entails renting assets and refurbishing of assets for sale.
The company trades on the London Stock Exchange under OXIG as the ticker symbol. OXIG is a part of the FTSE 250 Index. Oxford Instruments has maintained its headquarters in Abingdon, Oxfordshire, the United Kingdom since its establishment.