May 112018

Non-Executive Directors - Exeter Science Park Ltd (ESPL)

Role: Average of 1 day per month for a 3 year term
Location: Exeter, Devon
Salary: Non-remunerated post

The Company

Exeter Science Park (ESPL) is the result of a vision to develop a science park at Exeter in the South West of the UK to facilitate the growth of innovative, fast-growing STEMM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medical) companies that exploit world-class research, create high-quality jobs, attract and retain talent, and drive productivity and economic growth.

ESPL’s shareholders are Devon County Council (DCC), East Devon District Council (EDDC), Exeter City Council (ECC) and the University of Exeter (UoE). It is effectively a not-for-profit company which is operated on a ‘not for distribution’ basis to ensure that all income and capital is used for the benefit of the business.

ESPL is currently focused on becoming financially sustainable by 2021 based on owning and operating five buildings that are at various stages of development. These buildings are:

  • the Science Park Centre (SPC) with café, meeting rooms and hot-desking facilities, which opened in 2015 and is 90% full at the start of April 2018;
  • three Grow-on Buildings (GoB) that are currently under construction and expected to be available from October 2018; and
  • an Open Innovation Building that is currently being planned and will not become available until Q4 2019 at the earliest.

By 2021, we expect around 700 high-value, knowledge-based jobs to be based at the Science Park. However, we are about to start planning for the next phase of growth requiring the development of around 180,000 sq ft of offices, laboratories and other technology facilities which is expected to cost over £60M. We expect this to result in a further 1,500 jobs at the Science Park by 2027.

Meanwhile, individual companies are growing from hot-desk to small office suite in the SPC, and then moving to larger office suites in the SPC before looking to relocate to the new Grow-on Buildings.

The Role

We've recently enhanced our Board membership and now want to continue expanding the breadth of skills and experience as existing members come to the end of their tenure.  As a result, we're seeking three dynamic, energetic, Non-Executive Directors, who have a passion for science, technology and innovation, to guide and challenge the strategic direction of the Science Park, to take it to the next stage of its development.

Your role of Non-Executive Director will be driven by your experience ideally in either private sector finance, property development or marketing and how it can best be utilised to shape the direction and implementation of the Exeter Science Park plan.

You will provide expert advice and guidance to shape and challenge the strategic financial direction of the organisation. Coupled with this we would like to use your experience of existing networks to connect businesses and attract finance to the region.

A key feature of the development of this site is to provide new buildings, to the right specification, to ensure an ideal location for STEM businesses and encourage interaction, innovation and problem solving within our STEM community. If your background is in property development, you will use your knowledge, expertise and experience to challenge and guide the organisation’s strategy for optimising its assets and infrastructure.

If you come from a marketing background, you will use this expertise to shape the marketing strategy for the Science Park, to raise the Park’s profile and expand its reach so that Exeter Science Park is a location of choice for innovative STEM companies.

As an ambassador for the Science Park, you will also take pride in promoting the Park to relevant stakeholders in your existing network in order to attract interest and funding into the Science Park for the benefit of the local economy.

The Person

You are energetic and passionate about promoting innovation, science and technology and can effectively combine this with your experience of leading organisations to constructively challenge and support the strategic direction of the Science Park.

You have the vision, independence of judgement and commitment to help the Science Park thrive in the years to come, combined with the ability to judge which decisions are yours to take.

Ideally you will have Board level experience and certainly senior management experience in either a private sector finance, property development or marketing role and will have demonstrated one of the following.

  • Your ability to easily interpret strategic financial accounts and management information and can contribute to key financial decisions to drive company performance.
  • Your ability to develop business property and sites so that all assets are optimised to meet strategic objectives.
  • Your ability to promote and market a site and its property so that it becomes a location of choice for both local businesses and those further afield.

You will have an extensive network of relevant contacts either in the South West or in sectors of interest to the Board.  Most important to the Board’s development is exceptional commercial aptitude.  You are entrepreneurial in your style and, through experience, understand the different needs of start-up companies and large, publicly funded organisations and can use this insight to advise and guide business plans and growth.

The Rewards and Term

This is a 3-year term, non-remunerated post, providing you with the opportunity to play an influential role in one of the most exciting projects the South West has to offer.  As well as contributing to the success of the Exeter Science Park, this role gives you the opportunity to broaden your experience and enhance your own career, developing knowledge and skills that you can use in your other leadership roles. On average, you could expect to spend 1-2 days per month on this role.

If you possess the experience, passion and attitude to make this role a success then we would love to hear from you. Apply by 3rd June or for further details you can contact us by phone on 01884 841539.

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