Stuart Martin to step down as Chief Executive of the Satellite Applications Catapult

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The Satellite Applications Catapult today announces that its Chief Executive, Stuart Martin, has notified the board of directors of his intent to stand down from his role, a position that he has held since January 2013. The search for Mr. Martin’s successor will begin immediately, and be completed by the end of the year.

The Catapult programme was a new initiative of government early in the last decade, responding to the Hauser Report of 2010 which called for stronger institutional support to the UK’s innovation ecosystem. The Satellite Applications Catapult was one of the first new Catapults to be created, and Mr. Martin was its founding Chief Executive following a 23-year career in the space industry. Mr. Martin was also part of the industry team that successfully made the case for establishing a Catapult focusing on the space sector.

Paying tribute to Mr. Martin’s contribution, Sanjay Bhandari, Satellite Applications Catapult Board Chair said, “Following its launch in 2013, the Satellite Applications Catapult quickly became an essential part of the UK space ecosystem, and since then has contributed to many of the sector’s most important successes. This includes the creation of the world’s first space-dedicated venture fund in Seraphim Space, the advancement of UK Launch and the UK’s investment into OneWeb.

“A big part of this contribution has been the exceptional leadership shown by Stuart Martin. Working in partnership with other sector stakeholders, he has played a critical role in establishing the UK as one of the world’s foremost space start-up ecosystems and, as one of the first to recognise the importance of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, Stuart has been a constant champion of space as a force for good in the transition to a more sustainable future.

Matthew Durdy, CEO of the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult and Chair of the Catapult Network added: “Always a strong advocate for the Catapult programme, Stuart has consistently sought to push back the boundaries to what Catapults could and should do. The legacy of that now endures in the many ways that Catapults support industry and the economy in multiple locations across the nation.

Mr. Martin himself said, “It has been an immense privilege to be entrusted with the responsibility of leading the Satellite Applications Catapult through its formation, and for its first ten years. I am immensely proud of all that we have achieved, delivering on our mission to ‘innovate for a better world, empowered by space’, to the benefit of the UK space sector, and to countless people around the world whose lives have been enriched by what space-based services are now delivering for them.

“But now it is time for me to hand over the baton to new leadership for the next phase of the journey. The space sector is going from strength to strength, and I know that the Catapult and the amazing people that work here have a tremendous future ahead. I will dedicate my remaining time to ensuring an effective leadership transition, and to securing the enduring benefits of programmes currently reaching maturity, including the potential for Space-Based Solar Power.

“I am most grateful to all the staff and board members at the Catapult, both past and present, the team at Innovate UK and colleagues across the Catapult network for all the help and support they have provided me with over the past ten years.

Specialist recruitment firm Perrett Laver has been appointed to oversee the recruitment of Mr Martin’s successor, and welcomes interest from suitably qualified candidates.