Non-Executive Director - Exeter

Non-Executive Director
Ref: 64 Date Posted: Thursday 07 Nov 2019
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Non-Executive Director, Exeter Science Park 
Role: Average of 1 day per month for a 3-year term
Location: Exeter, Devon
Salary: Non-remunerated post

The Company:
Exeter Science Park Ltd (ESPL) is the result of a vision to develop a science park at Exeter in the south-west of the United Kingdom 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:

  • The Science Park Centre with café, meeting rooms and hot desking facilities that was opened in 2015 and is 90% full at the start of February 2019.
  • Three Grow-on Buildings comprising 27,000ft² were completed in November 2018.The buildings were pre let and after a range of tenant fit outs are now fully occupied.
  • A proposed Open Innovation Building of 20,00ft² is fully funded and currently in the design process. Commencement on site is anticipated to be August 2019.
  • A bespoke 12,000ft² University building is currently being constructed at the Park.

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 sqft 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 Science Park Centre (SPC), and then moving to larger office suites in the SPC before looking to relocate to the new Grow-on Buildings which have just opened.

The Role:
A vacancy has arisen on our Board and we are looking to fill that gap with a Non-Executive Director who has a passion, experience and connections in science, technology and innovation.  Your role of Non-Executive Director will be driven by your experience in innovation and to guide and challenge the strategic direction of the Science Park and take it to the next stage of its development. 

You will use your experience of working with innovative start-ups and scale ups and use your understanding of their specific needs relating to infrastructure, working environments, advice and support to ensure the Science Park’s strategy addresses these requirements. 

Your role will be to provide expert advice and guidance to shape and challenge the strategic direction of the Science Park so that it delivers an environment that enables innovation. Coupled with this we would like to use your experience of existing networks to connect businesses and attract finance to the region.

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:
As a 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 of working with start-up or scale up organisations and will have demonstrated significant knowledge of emerging technologies trends and their potential applications for new and existing businesses. 

As someone who has experience and knowledge of innovation, you understand and appreciate the conditions required to enable innovation.  Combined with this you will have an extensive network of local and national innovation communities, including Universities, funding bodies and meet ups that you can draw upon and use to support the Science Park’s development.

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.

We will be holding the interviews on Wednesday, 15th January 2020.

If you possess the experience, passion and attitude to make this role a success then we would love to hear from you. Please apply with your CV and a cover letter by 29th November 2019 or, for further details, you can contact us by phone on 01823 665297.