Search starts for Newcastle Science City director

Recruitment has started for a new director to head Newcastle Science City as the organisation moves into a new phase of operation.

The future of Newcastle Science City was secured in September after its two main partners, Newcastle University and Newcastle City Council, committed to ongoing investment alongside a more focused remit for the organisation.

A strategic review carried out by the partners following the withdrawal of the third founding partner One North East saw Newcastle University and Newcastle City Council continuing to invest up to £500k each year for the next three years. With previous director Peter Arnold stepping down from Science City in the summer, the review also resulted in the organisation concentrating on four key areas of:

  • Support and Inward investment - promoting and supporting inward investment both for the Science Central site and for science based business elsewhere. Leveraging funding through complementary projects.
  • Marketing and communication – promoting Newcastle’s science and expertise externally and ensuring business and community engagement in science and technology.
  • Business Engagement and Support  - focussing on business engagement and networking and working with partners  to ensure there is appropriate support for businesses, particularly high growth  and science related activities
  • Community Engagement – promoting the importance of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) educational pathways, and to liaise with businesses and education and training providers to help ensure good alignment between the demand and supply for skills.

Chair of Newcastle Science City, Paul Walker, said: “The new director will join us as we on embark upon an exciting new chapter, building upon Newcastle’s international reputation as a city of science.

“The successful candidate will have specific knowledge of science based industries as well as significant experience of securing business funding, both public and private, and broad business acumen gained at a strategic level. The director will also have to be the interface between the Science City partners, government, and the scientific and technology business sectors.”      

Among the list of key duties will be the attraction of private sector occupants to the Science Central site and a focus on inward investment to support the establishment of new businesses across the city’s other key science sites.

Professor Chris Brink, Vice Chancellor of Newcastle University, added:  “Securing Newcastle’s place as an excellent location for science and technology, and to build on the progress already being made across the city, will be a key role for the new director.  

“The Science Central site, in particular, provides an opportunity for hi-tech firms to be situated alongside world-leading university researchers, in a city that is globally recognised for its scientific excellence. We expect this will be a very compelling business proposition and our recent success in securing £6m in Regional Growth Funding to support its development demonstrates the confidence that the government has in our ambitions for the site.”     

Nick Forbes, leader of Newcastle City Council, said: “We are looking for an individual who shares our passion to see Newcastle realise the full economic potential of its science-based industries.

“Newcastle’s status as a science city continues to gain more and more recognition across the globe with the city already twice named the UK’s most sustainable city and its current 2014 European Green Capital bid. The work of Newcastle Science City plays a critical role in ensuring the city achieves its scientific ambitions.”

Details of the post can be found at www.ncl.ac.uk

Newcastle Science City is part financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), managed by the Department for Communities and Local Government, securing £2.3million of ERDF investment. The ERDF Competitiveness Programme 2007-2013 is bringing over £300m into the North East to support innovation, enterprise and business support across the region.

ENDS

Editors: For more information, contact Laura White, on [email protected] 0191 211 3021 or 07739 126 152 or Helen McLoughlin, on [email protected] or 0191 211 3020