Bristol is Open (BIO) is a joint venture between Bristol City Council and the University of Bristol. BIO is the world’s leading Smart City Demonstrator delivering an Research & Development (R&D) testbed for Smart City technologies for mobility, health, care and communications for the future. The aim of this collaboration and data collection is to provide citizens with a greater ability to interact with their cities, and to respond in real-time to everyday events including waste management, entertainment events, e-democracy, energy supply and much more.

The Challenge

Perform Green were appointed in late April 2016 to undertake a viability review and make recommendations for the future of Bristol is Open, with a detailed account around a lack of business focus, low levels of investment and an optimal organisational structure.

What did Perform Green Deliver?

Following an initial review by Perform Green, our Founder Barney Smith was appointed Interim CEO and our team undertook a process of deep due diligence to confirm initial findings and implement recommendations.

Three months later Perform Green had completed:

  • Technical, Financial, Commercial and Capability audits
  • Design and implementation of a new organisational structure
  • New commercial models and contract templates, including landing a new £1m sponsor (Nokia)
  • Approval for a Refreshed Engineering team identified to cover Internet of Things (IoT), wireless, wired networks, Software Defined Networks and research delivery capability, which was subsequently implemented
  • New branding
  • Raising £700K of working capital
  • New Governance structures and processes
  • Instigating and defining the scope of a new technology roadmap for development of the platform

“Perform Green came to the Bristol is Open (BIO) Board highly recommended and were requested to undertake an operational and technical audit of Bristol Is Open and prepare a new business plan and model to ensure BIO was viable and successful in achieving the joint venture partners’ goals. Perform Green demonstrated strength and depth of experience and capability in delivering a successful outcome under the leadership of Barney Smith, who took on the role of CEO of BIO to ensure delivery and take the organisation forward. Perform Green and Barney in particular were instrumental in resolving a number of complex issues which required effective engagement with multiple stakeholders who had their own expectations. I would recommend Perform Green to others”.

Nishan Canagarajah – BIO Board (Pro-Vice Chancellor, University of Bristol)

Key Successes

The work undertaken by Perform Green stabilised the finances and structure of the collaborative project. BIO won the TM forum’s Smart City Innovator of the year 2016.

In October 2017, Bristol was identified is #1 UK Smart City over taking London in the Huawei Smart City Index. In March 2018, Bristol also picked up the Smart City award from Mobile World Congress, citing just 2 initiatives: Bristol Operations Centre and Bristol Is Open.


Why Perform Green?

Perform Green were able to step in at a critical time for Bristol is Open to take a leading role in the rapid transformation of BIO into a sustainable organisation. Our team have ensured that the organisation’s governance, structure, external relationships, funding and income streams are fit for purpose. Perform Green were able to supply the capability and strategic leadership in an area of technical complexity, alongside a flexible mind-set and expertise in organisational design, financial management and understanding changing customer requirements.