Select Committee on Science and Technology Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence



APPENDIX 2

Letter from Lord Puttnam, Chair, NESTA, to the Chairman of the Committee

  Please find enclosed the additional information we promised to let you have for the Committee's enquiry into NESTA's work. Enclosed are:

    —  A breakdown of our spending on awards in each of our years of existence (Annex A);

    —  A breakdown of our running costs budget (Annex B);

    —  A copy of our 2002-03 business plan (Annex C);

    —  Further details of our Fellowship Programme (Annex D).

  On the question of our contacts with Regional Development Agency Chairs, we have written to all RDA Chairs on a number of occasions to keep them up to date with our work. On the whole, responses have been favourable, and we have meaningful dialogue with the majority of RDAs. However, this is less the case with the RDAs in the South East, South West and the East of England.

  I thought it might also be helpful to clear up two points which arose during our oral evidence session, which I think caused some confusion at the time. Firstly, there is the issue of how quickly we began to make awards—at one point Mark Hoban suggested that we had only made awards totalling around 1 million up to the middle of 2001. In fact we had made awards totalling 6.9 million by the end of the 2000-01 financial year, with an additional 13.8 million awarded since. I think that the 1 million figure referred to the period up to March 2000, rather than 2001.

  Secondly, I feel there was some confusion around the figures which Dr Turner was using in his questioning. Our actual expenditure on administration in 2000-01 was 1.27 million, which represents 9.8 per cent of our income for that year.

  I hope that you find this additional information useful, and that it helps to clear up any confusion which may have arisen during our oral evidence session. Finally, I would like to extend an invitation, through you, to all members of the committee, to visit NESTA and find out about our work in more detail.

22 August 2002

Annex A

 

PROGRAMME COMMITMENTS

 

Year to 31 March 2000
million
(Number of awards)

Year to 31 March 2001
million
(Number of awards)

Year to 31 March 2002
million
(Number of awards)

1 April-30 June 2002
million
(Number of awards)

Total to date
million
(Number of awards)

Invention and
Innovation

0.5 (7)

2.3 (34)

1.7 (40)

0.8 (13)

5.3 (94)

Fellowship

0.5 (6)

1.3 (15)

2.4 (31)

0.2 (3)

4.4 (55)

Education

1.0 (4)

1.3 (15)

1.6 (35)

0.7 (15)

4.6 (69)

Other Projects

3.2

3.2

6.4

TOTAL

2.0 (17)

4.9 (64)

8.9 (106)

4.9 (31)

20.7 million (218)

 

Annex B

 

BREAKDOWN OF OPERATING COSTS FOR EACH OF THE YEARS SINCE NESTA'S INCEPTION

Running costs, year ending March:

1999

2000

2001

000
Agency staff costs

41

103

149

Communications and publicity

39

56

44

Consultancy fees

31

123

21

Depreciation

19

83

165

Current cost devalution

0

13

16

Information Technology costs

87

87

185

Office and sundry

21

33

86

Financial and investment fees

82

46

Legal and audit fees

48

19

Relocation costs

45

31

Operating lease

137

99

  —Land and buildings

   

54

Research and consultation

108

0

Staff recruitment

101

32

34

Staff training

7

13

10

Staff costs

242

149

251

Travel, subsistence and other staff costs

31

31

24

Recoverable VAT

(33)

NESTA Enterprises Ltd

199[9]

TOTAL

909

983

1,270

Final audited figures for the year to March 2002 are not yet available. National Audit Office sign-off is anticipated in the early autumn and as soon as we receive this we will forward the figures to the Committee.

Annex C

 

ANNUAL OPERATING PLAN 2002-03

 

1.  NESTA'S MISSION

  `To support and promote talent, innovation and creativity in science, technology and the arts.'

2.  STRATEGIC/CORPORATE OBJECTIVES (3-YEAR PLAN)

  21.  In 2002-03 NESTA will be in the final year of its 3-year corporate plan. The corporate aims set in the plan provide the framework for what we are setting out to achieve. These are:

  Aim 1  To identify, nurture and promote creative, talented and inventive people and ideas to enable them to pursue excellence and generate benefit for the UK economy;

  Aim 2  To contribute to public appreciation of, and the development of individuals' skills in, creativity and innovation in Science, Technology and the Arts;

  Aim 3  To develop an understanding of the environment in which NESTA is operating and to learn the lessons from its strategic support and feed them back to policy makers;

  Aim 4  To maximise the value of NESTA's endowment and secure our long-term financial viability;

  Aim 5  To secure and sustain support services to enable NESTA to operate efficiently and effectively and promote its work.

3.  SUMMARY OF ACHIEVEMENTS 2000-02

  3.1  Progress against the corporate aims, which provide the framework for what NESTA has set out to adchieve over the last two years, is summarised below:

  Aim 1  To identify, nurture and promote creative, talented and inventive people and ideas to enable them to pursue excellence and generate benefit for the UK economy.

  1.  NESTA has employed a pool of over 100 nominators across disciplines, nations and regions to identify talent;

  2.  NESTA has implemented a proactive marketing campaign via networks of signposting organisations like business links, universities and arts networks to raise awareness and stimulate high quality applications;

  3.  NESTA has supported awardees to achieve their milestones by appointing mentors and project champions;

  4.  NESTA has committed at least 15 million in direct funding to over 200 awards;

  5.  NESTA has appointed around 45 Fellows and made around 80 Invention & Innovation awards;

  6.  NESTA is reviewing the strategies for the Fellowship and Invention & Innovation programmes to assess their effectiveness;

  7.  NESTA has established its website as the main gateway to NESTA for general information, applications to the Invention and Innovation programme and to share our stories. Further improvements are now being made to improve its usability for different audiences;

  8.  NESTA has built a profile for its awardees—over 350 positive stories (mainly features) have appeared in the print and broadcast media;

  Aim 2  To contribute to public appreciation of, and the development of individuals' skills in, creativity and innovation in Science, Technology and the Arts.

  1.  NESTA has commissioned around 45 major education projects, tegether with smaller scale pilots and events, working collaboratively with other organisations;

  2.  NESTA has set up and secured over 3 million public funding for FutureLab which will be pioneering the interactive learning potential of broadband technologies and sponsorship in the form of equipment and facilities has been secured from Macromedia, Cisco Systems and Apple;

  3.  NESTA was appointed to run the DfES's Science Year and is now half way through delivering an esxciting nationwide programme of events and initiatives;

  4.  NESTA has implemented a proactive Communications Strategy, building effective relationships with the media to convey our stories to the public—over 40 editors and journalists have received one to one briefings on NESTA's activities;

  5.  NESTA has made an impact in policy and practice within the education sector on such issues as Gifted and Talented Children and interactive learning through piloting innovative projects. We have worked closely with a range of other bodies whose aims complement ours—the Royal Society of Arts, British Association, the QCA and the Wellcome Trust.

  Aim 3  To develop an understanding of the environment in which NESTA is operating and learn the lessons from its strategic support and feed them back to policy makers.

  1.  NESTA is in the process of beginning evaluation and review of the effectiveness of our programmes and funding arrangements;

  2.  We have carried out research into the creative barriers faced by art and design students and the support they might need to pursue entrepreneurial ideas.

  Aim 4  To maximise the value of NESTA's endowment and secure our long-term financial viability.

  1.  NESTA has established Fund B;

  2.  NESTA is in the process of commissioning feasibility into fundraising opportunities from a wide range of sources;

  3.  Through its Invention and Innovation programme NESTA has pioneered an innovative approach to public investment and received its first royalty cheque in March;

  4.  NESTA is engaged in detailed discussions with the DCMS over an additional investment of resources into our endowment.

  Aim 5  To secure and sustain support services to enable NESTA to operate efficiently and effectively and promote its work.

  1.  NESTA has developed and implemented a programme for the training and development of our workforce and has recruited 29 staff;

  2.  NESTA is one of the first public bodies to have an on-line application process;

  3.  NESTA has drawn in an enormous pool of external expertise from programme committee members to nominators, mentors, project champions, assessors and partners;

  4.  NESTA has won an award for our extranet capability;

  5.  NESTA has implemented a proactive Communications Strategy to differentiate it from other bodies, secure its brand values, protect its reputation and support awardees in promoting their work;

  6.  We have promoted the benefits of NESTA awardees and projects through a broad range of promotional activities—involving over 500 key influencers in NESTA events, sponsoring new awards and competitions, securing media coverage and generating broadcast opportunities through Tomorrow's World, BBC2's Technogames, Carlton's Future Now and the Discovery Channel's Inventors' Roadshows.

4  NESTA PRIORITIES FOR 2002-03

  In this crucial year of our initial corporate strategy NESTA will particularly focus its energies on two key themes (derived from Aim 3 and 4 of the Corporate Plan):

  4.1  To maximise the value of NESTA's investments/awards and secure the organisation's future sustainability.

  We believe that it is essential that NESTA now secures its future financial sustainability to enable the organisation to continue to fill a gap in identifying and exploiting creativity and innovation. There are a number of avenues that we will need to explore to achieve this. The key priorities under this theme are to:

  4.1.1  Maximise the value of the I&I investment portfolio. There is a political and commercial imperative for NESTA to prove the worth of its approach and its ability to generate income—by maximising the value of its portfolio of awards—particularly in I&I which has the potential to generate real returns for re-investment in future projects. In the past year we have been focusing on building the I&I team, developing their skills sets and reviewing processes for award management. It is now crucial that we review each of our investments individually and implement a targeted approach to achieve the best result from those with potential. By the end of the year we will need to be able to account for the progress of all awards and make tough decisions about those that are unlikely to succeed. We will need to have identified those investments with most potential for growth and focused our energies on creating value for both them and us.

  4.1.2  Secure NESTA's future financial sustainability—through additional public and private funds. We will aim to secure additional public funding in the short-term and, equally importantly, develop medium and long-term strategies for attracting private sector assets and funding into NESTA.

  4.1.3  Maximise the benefits (visible and invisible) created by our awards under the Fellowship and Education programmes.

  4.2  To develop a thorough understanding of what NESTA has learned from its strategic support in order to shape future policy.

  At this crucial stage, the effects of NESTA's policies and programmes are beginning to tell and we now have the opportunity, and an obligation, to learn from those experiences and re-focus our strategies accordingly. We are already aware of some key areas where work needs to be done.

  The key priorities under this theme are to:

  4.2.1  Develop, on the basis of what we have learn from our pilot regional representation, a model to maximise our effectiveness and impact in the nations and regions. There is a clear gap in NESTA's capacity to show that it can seek out and support creative excellence wherever it may be found. More can and must be done to fill those gaps and NESTA now needs to explore the most effective and efficient models for doing so. This is of particular importance with the expanding jurisdiction of the nations' and regions' governance structures and is essential to our continuing credibility as an effective and imaginative national talent scout and an influencer of public policy.

  4.2.2  Build the public profile and reputation of NESTA based on its distinctive role and contribution and on the profile of its portfolio of awardees.

  4.2.3  Review and evaluate what we have learnt from the deployment of all three programmes and NEL and the implications for both public and internal policy and set in place the next three-year organisational challenge—the 2003-06 corporate plan.

5.  OPERATIONAL PLANS

  5.1  Detailed operational plans for the year will also include a range of activities derived from our corporate aims. We will also improve systems and processes for award management and build on the benefits of a community of awardees, mentors, champions and supervisors.

6.  RESOURCES

  6.1  Programme award budgets for 2002-03 have been set at the 2001-02 level of 7.9 million. A significant tranche of further endowment funding is anticipated and the budget has been set at this level in order to maintain the momentum of the programmes and maximise their impact. Staffing and infrastructure levels have been established to cope with this level of awards.

  6.2  The basis for allocating the programme expenditure between programmes remains the same as in the 2001-02 budget: the Invention and Innovation programme has been allocated 40 per cent of the total available programme expenditure. 30 per cent has been allocated to each of the Fellowship and Education programmes.

  6.3  Non-award ewxpenditure levels of 5.6 million represent a 660,000 increase on 2001-02, broadly representing staffing cost increases and inflationary pressures. The proportion of resources allocated to programmes has increased relative to 2001-02 with cuts being made within indirect support costs. The costs of implementing the long-term IT Strategy have been capitalised.

  6.4  The budget excludes any additional lottery funding. When confirmation is received of further funding, the budget and annual operating plan will be updated.

Annex D

 

DETAILS OF THE NUMBERS NOMINATED FOR FELLOWSHIPS IN EACH FINANCIAL YEAR AND OF HOW MANY PROGRESS TO EACH STAGE OF THE PROCESS

Year

Number
nominated

Number invited
to apply

Number
awarded

1999-2000

44

36

0*  

2000-01

40

32

24  

2001-02

34

19

28**

TOTAL

118

87

52  

Notes:

* No awards were made in 1999-2000 as the Programme was not operational until August 1999.

** There was a higher number of awards than invitations to apply in 2001-02 due to the time lapse which generally occurs between invitation of awardees and submission of application forms.

INFORMATION ON THE NUMBER OF NESTA NOMINATORS RECRUITED EACH YEAR AND DETAILS OF THE APPOINTMENT PROCESS

 

Numbers invited

1999-2000

72

2000-01

76

2001-02

35

Note:

  Fewer nominators were invited in 2001-02 as we suspended recruitment of new nominators whilst we undertook an interim review of the programme.

Appointment Process

  Nominators are recruited for their level of expertise and achievement within a specific field (Science, Technology and the Arts) and for their knowledge of cutting edge practice. It has taken us some time to build a balanced pool and the figures demonstrate this. We now recruit in line with proportions reflected by regional/national data gathered from the 1991 population census. These provide minimum levels and will be updated when the 2001 data becomes available. We are working towards having a pool of 150 nominators on our books (by March 2003) that are refreshed as they nominate. Each nominator is encouraged to make two nominations. We gather data from nominators regarding tertiary qualification and ethnic category as well as age and gender.

  Nominators come to our attention through networking, suggestions (solicited and unsolicited), desk based research, our own contacts within the sector and through media attention. The idea of nominators was supported by stakeholders during our initial consultation in 1998 as being a particularly effective way of recognising excellence in a number of fields.

  We are currently trialling a number of other mechanisms for ensuring that our Fellowships go to the right people. Fifty Organisations have registered as Nominators, and we have recruited 25 people to act as talent scouts in the East Midlands—a region where we had previously made no Fellowship awards. Our new Dream Time Awards operate an open access policy.

 

 

 


9   NESTA Enterprises Ltd only came into existence during this financial year. Back

 
previous page contents next page

House of Commons home page Parliament home page House of Lords home page search page enquiries index

© Parliamentary copyright 2002
Prepared 31 October 2002