Paul Bate named new CEO of UK Space Agency

Published by Scott Challinor on June 12th 2021, 12:03am

Dr Paul Bate will commence duties as the new UK Space Agency CEO in September, after his appointment was approved by Minister for Science, Research and Innovation, Amanda Solloway.

Dr Bate, who is currently Vice-President for Commercial at Babylon Health, is an experienced board-level executive with years of experience in the commercial and public sectors. He has previously held the role of Managing Director for NHS Services at Babylon, sat on the Care Quality Commission board, and worked as a civil servant for former Prime Ministers David Cameron and Tony Blair during their respective premierships.

During his days in the civil service, Dr Bate was David Cameron’s Policy Adviser for Health and Adult Care between 2011 and 2013.

He comes from a Physics background, having studied Particle Physics at universities in Manchester and Paris, completing a PhD in the subject and going on to carry out research in Hamburg.

The UK government has said that the appointment of Dr Bate - which came after a comprehensive recruitment process - is a clear indicator of Westminster’s ambitions to boost the £16.4 billion UK space industry's contribution to the nation’s economy and ensure that innovation in the space sector will benefit all as the country builds back better from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Solloway commented: “Dr Paul Bate has an impressive track record of working with private and public sector providers to deliver growth and value for money, and to use new digital technology in new, accessible and cost-effective ways. These are exactly the skills we need as we seek not just to grow our space sector, but to ensure that the benefits of our drive to cement the UK as a world-leading space nation reach all our communities.”

Solloway also paid tribute to outgoing CEO Dr Graham Turnock, for his “energy, expertise and inclusive leadership” over the years.

Dr Turnock said: “Leading this organisation is a job in a million – and I am honoured to have worked with the exceptional UK Space Agency team for four years. In those four years, we have seen our agency and our sector achieve more than anyone could have expected.

“As we stand on the threshold of a new and exciting chapter in our history as a space-faring nation, Paul’s insights and experience promise to deliver more great things for the UK in space.”

Speaking about his appointment, Dr Bate said: “It is a privilege to be joining the UK Space Agency. The Space sector is a scientific and commercial UK success story, vital for critical infrastructure, defence and economic growth, and ignites the imagination and wonder of millions across the country and the world. I am delighted to have been appointed to lead the team at this unique time of technological progress and government ambition in reaching out beyond the Earth.

“I look forward to working in partnership with civil and military space organisations to jointly deliver the UK’s Space Strategy and fulfil global ambitions with our international partners. In doing so, the UK Space Agency and I will be building on and benefiting from Graham Turnock’s leadership over the last four years, for which we are deeply grateful.”

Dr Bate will take up his new role on September 6, 2021.

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Authored By

Scott Challinor
Business Editor
June 12th 2021, 12:03am

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