Sanjay Bhandari chairs the Board of the Satellite Applications Catapult. Sanjay has extensive experience in the professional services sector, most recently as a partner at EY where amongst his other successes he served as Chief Innovation Officer and his leadership led to significant growth in the firm’s Financial Services technology business.
He is now pursuing a career as an independent board member, and is an active and recognised leader of equality, diversity, and inclusion practice. He is a member of the Government-sponsored Parker review into the ethnic diversity of UK boards, Chair at Kick It Out, a Non-Executive at the Lawn Tennis Association and a Board Trustee at GreaterSport Manchester.
Sanjay joins the Satellite Applications Catapult at a pivotal time for the space industry in the UK. With opportunities flowing from advances in technology and the UK’s innovation ecosystem, this sector is a massive opportunity for UK PLC and thus a significant focus for government, industry, and investors. Working with the Board and management team, Sanjay sees great opportunity to unlock the potential of the space industry for the benefit of UK PLC and to address some of the biggest issues facing society globally.
John Abbott is the new CEO of the Satellite Applications Catapult. He joined the Catapult from the Real Estate Registry in Saudi Arabia, where he was Chief Digital Officer. John was instrumental in the delivery of the Kingdom’s first ever registry of land ownership as part of a public-private partnership supported by the Public Investment Fund.
John was previously Director of Digital Data and Technology and a member of the Executive Board at HM Land Registry, where he led a successful £200m digital transformation programme and the organisation’s pioneering open innovation programme, Digital Street. Prior to this he was Head of Digital Products at Ordnance Survey where he was responsible for digitising and publishing the organisation’s geospatial data as well as the Innovations Lab and Geovation, a successful start-up incubator, which has supported more than 150 early-stage businesses which together have raised £130m. Earlier roles included Product Director at Mimecast, the UK tech company acquired by Permira for $5.8Bn. He has an MBA from Imperial College London and is married with three children.
Lucy joined the Satellite Applications Catapult in 2018. With a background in Physics and Engineering, her career highlights include launching science and comms satellites, building satellite operations centres and growing space organisations.
Lucy is an ardent believer in the Catapult vision “To innovate for a better world, empowered by satellites”. Many see the growing space industry as a potential source of economic growth; Lucy also sees it as a way of improving the future for everyone, and of building connections between people and communities that will transform the way we relate to each other.
Lucy serves as a non-executive director on the board of the Buckinghamshire Local Enterprise Partnership. She is Vice Chair of the Royal Mencap Society and Chair of space start-up Atheras Analytics.
Simon Acland has spent 35 years as an investor in young technology businesses. Much of his venture capital career he spent at Quester, which he helped to build into one of the UK’s most active early-stage technology investors before the company was sold in 2007. Seven of the companies that he backed achieved public listings on the London Stock Exchange, AIM, Nasdaq or Easdaq, including two companies which joined the FTSE 250; many others have been successfully sold.
Simon founded and chairs Green Angel Syndicate, the only business angel group in the UK that specialises in the fight against climate change. He is a director of domestic energy storage company Powervault and environmental DNA sequencing company Naturemetrics. He is an adviser to travel time search software company iGeolise. He sits on the board of Triple Point Income VCT and is on the advisory board of their social impact EIS Fund. He is a member of the Investment Committee of the Angel CoFund.
Simon’s book ‘Angels, Dragons and Vultures – how to tame your investors…and not lose your company’ is widely regarded as one of the most helpful guides for entrepreneurs to the venture capital world.
Dr Vanessa Lawrence CB is working internationally as a senior advisor to governments, inter-governmental organisations including the World Bank and large private sector organisations.
She is a Director of Location International Ltd which provides strategic advice and full operational capacity globally, to the public and private sector, as to how to gain from improving their own use of location information to enhance their decision-making and to meet the ever changing needs of their customers and stakeholders.
In addition to being a Non-Executive Director of the Satellite Applications Catapult, Vanessa is on the Advisory Boards of Seraphim Space LLP, the Space venture capital fund backed by the British Business Bank, and the Urban Big Data Centre. She is a Steering Committee Member of IPP CommonSensing to support the Governments of Fiji, the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu to build resilience to the impacts of climate change and to improve access to climate finance, a Trustee of the Royal Geographical Society, the Honorary Colonel of 135 Geographic Squadron Royal Engineers, a Patron of MapAction and holds Visiting Professor positions at two UK Universities.
From 2000-2014, she was the Director General and CEO Ordnance Survey, Britain’s National Mapping Authority and the advisor to the British Government for issues involving mapping, surveying and geographic information. She is the longest serving Director General and CEO of Ordnance Survey since 1875.
From 2011-2015, she was a founding co-chair of the United Nations Committee of Experts on Global Geospatial Information Management (UN-GGIM).
Prior to joining the Civil Service, she held senior roles with the billion-dollar American software company, Autodesk and also the global media and publishing company, Pearson plc.
Benedetto is the CIO at Diageo since early 2020, leading the Digital & Technology strategy and agenda. Benedetto has a Masters degree in Electronic Engineering from the Polytechnic of Bari, where he developed his first satellite application software decoding Synthetic Aperture Radar signals. He then started his business career in 1995 working in the FMCG & Retail Industry across several IT & digital roles. His first job at P&G shaped his career, as did his time at IKEA: he speaks very fondly of his time there.
His passion is to inspire organisations to improve business performance through the implementation of technology enabled solutions, to deliver both short term and strategic growth; however, if you ask him about his top three priorities, he will say “People, people, people”.
Benedetto was awarded CIO of the Year 2018 in Portugal and nominated as top 100 CIO in the world during 2021 and 2022.
He is a father of two, keen runner and enthusiastic cook, with a love for the outdoors and music. Benedetto is Italian and has lived in Poland, Sweden, Portugal; he currently enjoys living in London.
Chad Anderson is Founder and Managing Partner of Space Capital, a seed stage venture capital firm with $100 million under management. He also serves on several boards including the Satellite Applications Catapult in the UK where he supports the national strategy to grow the space sector in the country. Anderson also volunteers as a board member of the Explorers Club, a non-profit that promotes the scientific exploration of land, sea, air, and space and is also a member of the User Advisory Committee for the International Space Station U.S. National Lab in Washington.
Prior to his current roles, Anderson enjoyed a successful career at JP Morgan Chase where he managed a $50 billion real estate portfolio through the Great Recession. Anderson holds an MBA from the University of Oxford, with a focus on entrepreneurship and innovation.
Craig Clark is a visionary space engineer and successful entrepreneur. He is renowned for his pioneering work on commercialising small satellites, in particular CubeSats. In 2005, Craig founded Clyde Space Ltd, Glasgow’s first space company. Amongst other achievements, including the Queen’s Award for Enterprise (2017), Clyde Space produced UKube-1, Scotland’s first satellite, which was launched in July 2014.
Craig is a Non-Executive Director of the Glasgow Science Centre, is the Chair of Space Scotland and a member of the UK Space Sector Council. Craig has an MBE for services to Technology and Innovation and is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering.
Caroline was the Senior Partner for London at EY, a member of the UK leadership team, as well as leading a $0.5bn business within EY covering all types of businesses from FTSE 100 to fast growth. She was also Office Managing partner for the London Office and co-chaired the “Future of Work project” exploring how professional services will respond in the post pandemic world. She recently retired from the partnership and is now an Ambassador for EY as well as taking trustee roles in a number of not-for-profit organisations as well as some NED roles.
With a deep interest in the areas of Research, Education, Innovation and Social Inclusion, Caroline has taken on a number of roles across a variety of organisations. She is a Trustee and Chair of the Finance committee at Catch22, a large not-for-profit business, and is the Chair of the Trustees of Support through Court, a charity dedicated to providing free assistance to people facing court proceedings with no legal representation. She is also a trustee at EORTC, the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer.
Stewart is an experienced industrial leader with a reputation in leading business transformation both for recovery and growth. As someone who has always invested in personal learning and development coupled with an engineer’s interest in the application of new technologies, Stewart has hands on experience of digital transformation and enabling Innovation, most recently in his role as the CEO of the UK National Robotarium, and previously as CTO of Innovate UK and as SVP of Leonardo UK Innovation and Technology Group.
Stewart has had a broad career in engineering, ranging from Electronic Design through Engineering Management and Business Development to Senior Business Management, and he has worked predominantly in the Aerospace and Defence sector for Leonardo, BAE Systems, GDUK and Thales, as well as a spell in DE&S.
Stewart’s skills lie in turning concepts and theories into practical approaches that transform business for the better, always conscious of the impact of transformation on the people involved and the world around us.
Lynne is a qualified Chartered Accountant and Tax Advisor, with extensive experience in taxation, treasury, M&A, funding, corporate finance and investment management across a wide range of industry verticals from Telecommunications and IT managed services at Vodafone, Colt and Skype to Electronics, Oil and Gas, Agriculture, Technology and Information Systems in a Global Family Office setting in Monaco/Switzerland where she was responsible for funding, tax, treasury, M&A and investment management activities for $$bns of strategic and financial assets.
More recently, she has been supporting early stage, VC backed companies in their strategic and operational development and fund raising, specifically Life Sciences (Therapeutics and MedTech), AI/Machine Learning, Big Data, High Value Manufacturing, Construction and Energy Systems, Space, and Intelligent Mobility solutions. She gained exposure to these high growth, new technology sectors following on from an interim assignment as CFO of the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK. Lynne is also a NED on the Active Building Centre Company, having previously been an Expert Advisor on commercial partnership propositions to the European Space Agency