Press release -

Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (National): Science Minister publishes membership of UK’s Space Leadership Council

The Minister for Universities and Science David Willetts has confirmed and published the membership of the Space Leadership Council – a body of representatives from industry, academia and Government tasked with providing strategic advice to the newly formed UK Space Agency.

Mr Willetts, who co-chairs the Council, said:

“Co-chairing this Council gives me a tremendous opportunity to support this sector, which has grown more than three times faster than the economy as a whole during the past decade.

”When I look at space, I glimpse Britain’s future – built on great science, employing high-skilled researchers and engineers and selling cutting-edge innovations to the international market.

“That’s why I’m delighted to confirm and publish the membership of the new Space Leadership Council, who 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.”

Andy Green, CEO 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 £400 billion market by 2030. The Space Leadership Council will be the engine that drives that strategy which supports a growing UK economy.”

Welcoming the appointments, David Williams, Chief Executive (Acting) 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 £6.5 billion 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 has been 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.

Its 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 of 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, CEO of Logica

Will Whitehorn, President of Virgin Galactic

Colin Paynter, CEO of Astrium

Andrew Sukawaty, CEO of Inmarsat

David Williams, CEO of Avanti

Professor Sir Martin Sweeting, Chairman, Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL)

Nigel McNair Scott, Finance Director of Helical Bar

Craig Clark, CEO of Clyde Space

Rob Douglas, Chairman of South East England Development Agency

Professor Paul Monks, University of Leicester

Professor Robert Gurney, University of Reading

Professor 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

& the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills

Mike Segal, Director of Strategy & 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, CEO of Natural Environment Research Council

Keith Mason, CEO of Science and Technology Facilities Council

Iain Gray, CEO of Technology Strategy Board

John Hirst, CEO of the Met Office

Notes for Editors

1.      For more information, contact:

Rachel Clarke, BIS press office,

Tel: 18002 020 7215 5945, Email:

2.      The UK space and satellite sector has grown in real terms by around 9 percent a year since 1999/00 – more than three times faster than the economy as a whole.

3.      The UK Space Agency ( UK Space Agency is at the heart of UK efforts to explore and benefit from space.  It is responsible for all strategic decisions on the UK civil space programme and provides a clear, single voice for UK space ambitions. The UK civil space programme budget is currently in the order of £270m per year – about 76% of which is the UK’s contribution to European Space Agency (ESA) projects. Second only to the USA in space science, the UK's thriving space sector contributes £6.5bn a year to the UK economy and supports 68,000 jobs

The UK Space Agency:

Co-ordinates UK civil space activity

·        Supports academic research

·        Nurtures the UK space industry

·        Raises the profile of UK space activities at home and abroad

·        Works to increase understanding of space science and its practical benefits

·        Inspires our next generation of UK scientists and engineers

More information can be obtained from: Julia Short/Clair Passelle, Tel:+44 (0)1793 418069 / +44(0)1793 418072,  email: /


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