Paul Bate appointed as UK Space Agency CEO

Posted on 10 June, 2021 by Advance 

Dr Paul Bate has been appointed as the new CEO of the UK Space Agency, with a mission to continue the expansion and success of a sector that will play an increasingly vital role in the UK economy.


Paul Bate.
Courtesy UK Space Agency

The new appointment underlines ambitions by the UK government to boost the commercial and scientific contribution of the £16.4 billion UK space industry, and ensure that innovation in space benefits everyone as we build back better.

Paul is currently Vice President, Commercial at Babylon Health, working with healthcare organisations in the NHS and across the world. Prior to Babylon, he was the Executive Director of Strategy and Intelligence at the Care Quality Commission.

As a civil servant, he was the policy adviser for health and adult care for the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister from 2011 – 2013. Paul has a PhD in Particle Physics.

The appointment was approved by the Minister for Science, Research and Innovation, following a comprehensive and open recruitment process.

Science Minister Amanda Solloway said: “Paul 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.

“I also extend my warmest thanks to Paul’s predecessor Dr Graham Turnock, whose energy, expertise and inclusive leadership have delivered the strongest foundation for Paul to build on in the years ahead.”

Paul 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.”

UK Space Agency CEO Dr Graham 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.”

Paul is an experienced board-level executive, working across the commercial and public sectors. Before joining the UK Space Agency, Paul worked at Babylon Health as Managing Director for NHS services before taking on responsibility for Babylon’s sales across the world. During Paul's time at Babylon, the company grew 40-fold to its current £3bn valuation. Prior to Babylon, Paul was on the Board of the Care Quality Commission, the statutory regulator for health and care in England, with executive responsibility for strategy, policy, analytics, programmes and communications.

Paul has served two UK Prime Ministers as a civil servant – he was David Cameron’s senior health and care adviser in Downing Street and led on health targets and finances in Tony Blair’s Delivery Unit. He set up and grew a public services consultancy firm, 2020 Delivery Ltd, and started his career at McKinsey & Co. Paul has a PhD in Particle Physics, having studied at universities in Manchester and Paris and carried out research in Hamburg.