UK Space Leadership Council takes shape

2 min read

The official members of the council tasked with providing advice to the newly formed UK Space Agency were announced today by Minister for Universities and Science David Willetts.

The Space Leadership Council was created in response to a recommendation by the independent, industry-led Space Innovation and Growth Strategy (IGS). This strategy was published in February 2010 by the Space Innovation and Growth Team.

Willetts, who co-chairs the council, stated the membership of the new Space Leadership Council will bring ‘a wealth of experience to the table’.

‘We now have a lot of work ahead of us to seek out future opportunities for growth and ensure the UK continues to deliver world-leading space science,’ he said.

Andy Green, chief executive of Logica and co-chair, said: ‘I’m delighted to see the formation of the Space Leadership Council. In the Space IGT we defined a number of key recommendations to ensure that the UK is able to capitalise on one of the fastest-growing, technologically advanced sectors of the world economy.

‘This is forecast to be a £400bn market by 2030. The Space Leadership Council will be the engine that drives that strategy that supports a growing UK economy.’

Welcoming the appointments, David Williams, acting chief executive of the UK Space Agency, said: ‘The UK Space Agency is committed to building on the success of the UK’s growing space industry and welcomes the input that the Space Leadership Council will provide. The space industry in the UK currently contributes £6.5bn a year to the UK economy and is second only to the USA in space science.

‘By working closely with our partners and the Space Leadership Council, we can ensure that we remain at the cutting edge of space science and not only maximise the scientific benefits of UK space investment but also the wider economic and societal benefits that a thriving space industry offers.’

The Space Leadership Council duties will include providing advice to the UK Space Agency on its work plan and future opportunities; offering advice on the areas of space activity in which the UK should seek to develop and maintain global leadership; and promoting the UK’s space industry and scientific excellence in space research, technology and applications and overseeing the implementation of agreed recommendations from the Innovation and Growth Strategy.

The members of the Space Leadership Council are: (Co-chair) David Willetts, minister for universities and science; (Co-chair) Andy Green, chief executive of Logica; Will Whitehorn, president of Virgin Galactic; Colin Paynter, chief executive of Astrium; Andrew Sukawaty, chief executive of Inmarsat; David Williams, chief executive of Avanti; Prof Sir Martin Sweeting, chairman, Surrey Satellite Technology; Nigel McNair Scott, finance director of Helical Bar; Craig Clark, chief executive of Clyde Space; Rob Douglas, chairman of South East England Development Agency; Prof Paul Monks, University of Leicester; Prof Robert Gurney, University of Reading; Prof John Zarnecki, Open University; Sa’id Mosteshar, director of London Institute of Space Policy and Law; Brian Collins, chief scientific adviser to the Department for Transport and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills; Mike Segal, director of Strategy and Evidence Group, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs; Martin Meadows, chief scientific adviser, Department of Energy and Climate Change; Tim Wheeler, deputy chief scientific advisor, Department for International Development; Peter Schofield, director of Her Majesty’s Treasury’s Enterprise and Growth Unit; Baz North, assistant chief of air staff, Ministry of Defence; Patrick White, deputy director of public services, Cabinet Office; David Clary, chief scientific adviser of Foreign and Commonwealth Office; Neil Stansfield, director, Home Office; Alan Thorpe, chief executive of Natural Environment Research Council; Keith Mason, chief executive of Science and Technology Facilities Council; Iain Gray, chief executive of Technology Strategy Board; and John Hirst, chief executive of the Met Office.