Bristol Is Open: Managing Director

Bristol Is Open (BIO) is a limited company – a joint venture between Bristol City Council and the University Of Bristol with a global reputation. It is an R&D testbed for future communications and smart city technologies. It’s aim is to:

  • advance Bristol’s reputation as a creative and hi-tech cluster underpinned by leading academic endeavour,
  • underpin economic growth for all through creative and economic industries and
  • contribute to the Smart City ambitions to improve livability, workability for its citizens whilst making it cheaper to run.

Specific Role

This role will lead and manage the BIO venture including the team, whilst developing the service, culture and partnerships to grow the business.

  1. Provide strategic and visionary leadership of BIO internally and externally – ensuring visible and successful delivery
  2. Create trust and collaboration with the Stakeholders in particular Shareholders
  3. Deliver and evolve the Business Plan and Model ensuring smooth operations & success
  4. Introduce improvements to operations, shape and define new processes, technology and roles
  5. Develop excellent working relations with key partners to effect seamless delivery of functions and/or people whilst fostering growth of the service
  6. Instigate the development of strategic partnerships with corporate clients and foster relationships in order to maximise value and return on service from BIO within Bristol, the region and beyond
  7. Foster relationships with central government and other key regional and international organisations
  8. Ensure the financial health, operational control and trading viability of the BIO company

Enable the Chair, and other Board members, maximise their impact for the benefit of BIO, its shareholders and its stakeholders.

Key job outcomes/accountabilities 

The MD is accountable to the Board and has accountability for the day to day management of the company and putting into effect the decisions and policies of the board:

  • Develop and manage the business plan for the company, ensuring a strong customer and delivery ethos and success
  • Direct or oversee the financial, HR and legal operations according to UK Company laws, generating accurate and timely information about the trading position to report to the Board meeting
  • Develop new products and services for the company to ensure sustainability and relevance in a rapidly developing market
  • Direct and support the management team in daily operation of the company towards delivery

With support from the Chair, the MD is responsible for:

  • Devising the company vision for approval
  • Building the profile of the company with a wide audience & forge strategic relationships in particular with regionally, nationally and internationally as well as with corporate partners
  • Devising strategy proposals
  • Devising company values and standards for approval
  • Devising annual budgets and business plan for approval
  • Ensuring that the business plan is achieved

In addition, the MD is:

  • Responsible for the strategic development, partnerships and commercial contracts of the company, including identifying and recruiting customers
  • Responsible for the evolution of the business plan and model with stakeholders – in particular the Shareholders (University of Bristol and Bristol City Council)
  • Responsible for directing the company’s trading, marketing and generation activities in accordance with the business plan, success is measured only on measurable outcomes that matter. A set of KPI’s will be reviewed with the Board at regular intervals.

Enabling the Chair, and the Board as required, build strategic partnerships locally, regionally, nationally and internationally and with corporates to ensure the success and impact of BIO.

This job description sets out the key outcomes required. It does not specify in detail the activities required to achieve these outcomes.


The Managing Director will have achieved senior roles in business, government, philanthropy, or the nonprofit sector. His/her accomplishments will allow him/her to build the reputation of Bristol Is Open.

Required Experience:

  • Extensive professional experience with executive accomplishments in business, government, philanthropy, or the nonprofit sector;
  • Have worked in the telecoms or technology sectors;
  • Have a good working knowledge and experience with the public sector, achieving significant influence;
  • Have an understanding and vision for the potential for Bristol Is Open and/or future communications and Smart City technologies;
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills coupled with natural affinity for public speaking;
  • Strong Business Management Skills – preferably with experience of leading and growing a small business.


£90,000 with a defined pension contribution of 8%

Recruitment is led by Re:Think Recruitment. Please send your CV to by the 2nd August 2017.