National Endowment for Science Technology and the Arts

Within the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA) Lord Puttnam (Chair) and Jeremy Newton (CEO) delegated to me the building of a high performance team to deliver investment to innovative projects and individuals with exceptional talent.  My responsibility was for one of the three divisions.  Over a four year period I grew the investment portfolio from just over £1.2million to over £13.2million and the team from 1-10.  During the change process I:

  • Handled the National Audit Office Value for Money Review and accompanied my Chair and CEO to the Parliamentary Committee.  The NAO Report commended the work of my team on Risk Management.
  • Introduced the requirements of the Northern Ireland Equalities Act into my division.
  • Completed a national review of Mentoring Schemes and ensured NESTAs provided an exemplary and accountable national service to our awardees.
  • Consulted on, researched and delivered NESTAs first International Engagement Strategy, including designing a new International Cultural Leadership Award working with 15 countries.
  • Devised and implemented a plan that increased the diversity of the recipients of investment from 2.2% to over 25%.
  • Grew the team from 1 – 10 over a three year period.
  • Positioned (with others) a spin-off company – IGNITE (Science Creativity and Young People) which is still operating today under the leadership of a former NESTA staff member.
  • Played a full role within the SMT to secure £75million of new investment into the endowment and a £45million one-off payment into the revenue.

NESTA provided a direct and full understanding of the impact of good organisational systems and high performing management on a substantial business.