Space Partnership Director

Satellite Applications Catapult

Location Harwell, Didcot, Oxfordshire, UK with 3/4 days working from home per week
Salary £100,000 - £140,000
  • Closing: 5:30pm, 12th Dec 2022 GMT

Perks and benefits

Flexible working hours
Work from home option
Life Insurance
Wellness programs
Employee Assistance Programme
Enhanced maternity and paternity leave
Extra holiday
Sabbatical Opportunities
Professional development
Paid volunteer days
Salary sacrifice
Team social events
Extracurricular clubs
Cycle to work scheme

Candidate happiness

8.54 (1248)

Job Description

Since the publication of the UK Space Innovation Growth Strategy (IGS) in 2010, a strong and productive partnership has developed between the UK’s space sector stakeholders across government, industry and academia.  Since 2018, through the Space Growth Partnership (SGP), all stakeholder groups have worked together and contributed resources in order to help identify and deliver on common objectives.  Recent changes to the UK space landscape, in particular the publication of the first cross-government National Space Strategy in September 2021, create the opportunity to further strengthen engagement and alignment between all relevant parties, both public and private, to help us deliver on a shared national vision for space: the Space Partnership (SP).

Unlike its predecessors the IGS and SGP, the Space Partnership will not be wholly dependent on donated resources coming from partner organisations to function.  Instead, it will have at its heart a professional and independent core-partnership team to lead and coordinate its activities and mediate sector interests to ensure benefit to all parts of the sector across the whole country.  The team will be led by a Partnership Director.

The next phase of the SP will build on the ‘brand’ established under the pilot phase, and work to a mission statement agreed by the Partners:

Space Partnership: a coherent, constructive and dynamic expert group to optimise and support the shared delivery of the National Space Strategy.

We will do this through:

  • acting as an independent source of expert advice and challenge, informed by open engagement with the sector, with a focus on drawing together views from across the sector and beyond into an informed and representative view, and recommending action-oriented solutions that will help deliver the National Space Strategy,

  • providing evidence to inform decision making on emerging national and international priorities including science, innovation and export markets that may evolve the National Space Strategy,

  • carrying out priority work identified by government, industry and academia which is endorsed by the Space Partnership Board; with the workplan informed by government priorities agreed by the National Space Board,

  • working as an equal partnership between industry, academia and Government based around the core values of collaboration, openness and respect.

The Director role required to lead delivery of the mission statement and SP vision is as much about inclusivity and outreach as it is about policy and delivery. It is important that the Space Partnership delivers meaningful work and insights on recognised priorities, identified by the SP Board, and will therefore ensure its work has real impact. It is imperative that this is done with inclusivity at its heart, outreach to the wide space sector, and the tangential sectors it engages with.

This will be one of the primary routes for the sector to engage with government policy and work on shared priorities. The Director of the SP will be expected to represent the interests of the sector as a whole, and express differences and trade-offs where necessary. The SP Board will have representatives from across the sector representing government, industry and academia who will set the work tasks for the SP.

Independence is an important tenet of the role and the Space Partnership - the Director will be expected to operate in an independent manner and manage a budget and run a small, central team to deliver on the goals of the SP. The team will need to understand and incorporate the diverse views of the sector into the SP’s work, but not allow themselves to be paralysed to inaction by difference in opinion.


  • Lead the next phase of the Space Partnership through the next Spending Review period.

  • Establish a small team of staff and secondees to work independently on priority policy projects which support the development of the space sector and delivery of the National Space Strategy, in line with the Mission Statement above.

  • Respond to tasking by the SP Board to work on and deliver defined projects which will capture the views and expertise of the space sector (and wider) to inform policy direction, and overall progression and delivery of the National Space Strategy. In doing this, engage widely with the space sector to ensure inclusivity and representation.

 Key activities:

  • Shape and take on delivery of work from the SP Board, delivering products of impact which will shape government policy and/or wider sector activities.

  • Oversee delivery of sector-wide efforts which contribute to the National Space Strategy.

  • Lead wide reaching and sincere sector engagement to inform the work of the SP, ensuring an open door to the space sector and relevant connected sectors as appropriate.

  • Recruit and lead a team comprising additional partnership roles funded directly, and industrial & academic secondees.

  • Coordinate the implementation of the SP goals and establish appropriate reporting to the SP Board. Agree the planning and budget and success metric monitoring responsibilities with the SP Board.

  • Develop relationships with the SP Board members from Satellite Applications Catapult, UKSA, UKRI, MOD/BEIS, UKspace and SPAN to facilitate successful and timely delivery.

  • Act as the senior public face of the SP, able to engage with the sector to explain the work of the SP, and assist the Board with consultation and communication outwards to the sector.

  • Develop the management processes for each of the work streams, ensuring each is suitably staffed and organised to be able to develop its needs.

  • Ensure the work of the SP delivers against core success metrics, delivering value for money on the real and in-kind investments made into the programme.

  • Assess the SP against these core success metrics in time to consider the case for continued funding for the SP in the next Spending Review.

  • Organise the team processes ensuring maximum cross collaboration and minimum duplication.

  • Attend the monthly SP Board meetings and ensure efficient board secretariat, smooth running of the Board and preparing relevant papers as necessary.

Skills and Experience required:

  • Government experience: Experience working with government and a demonstrable understanding of the policy development process, political awareness and Ministerial dynamics.

  • Familiarity with the space landscape: including wide sector scope and dynamic range of organisations.

  • Strong leadership skills: A proven leader who can bring a team together, who can manage a range of views and distil an agreeable way forward among a range of equal stakeholders.

  • Senior engagement: Demonstrable experience of senior stakeholder management in Government, industry and/or academia and proven ability to work at senior levels in industry, government and academia.

  • Programme management experience: Agility and ability to work innovatively and at pace in an environment where certainty may not yet have emerged.

  • Outreach capability: Experience of working widely across sectors, ensuring inclusivity and a diversity of views are captured in their work.

  • Management experience: The ability to manage a small team in line with the Space Partnership culture statement of openness, inclusivity, respect and understanding including staff and secondees.

  • Demonstrable independence, free from on-going business interests in the space sector.

Governance aspects:

This role is being recruited by the Satellite Applications Catapult, who will act as the legal host and employer of the Space Partnership team on behalf of the Space Partnership Board. This is an initial 2 year fixed term contract to kick off the Space Partnership Board, with the potential of a permanent position.

Interviews will commence on the first week of January in person at our Harwell offices.

Removing bias from the hiring process

Applications closed Mon 12th Dec 2022


Removing bias from the hiring process

  • Your application will be anonymously reviewed by our hiring team to ensure fairness
  • You’ll need a CV/résumé, but it’ll only be considered if you score well on the anonymous review

Applications closed Mon 12th Dec 2022