Chief Operating Officer

Harwell, Oxfordshire

Responsible to: Chief Executive Officer

Responsible for: Line management of approx. 40+

Working Hours: 37.5h a week

Contract: Permanent

Holiday: 28 days per annum, plus statutory holidays.

Equal Opportunities: The Satellite Application Catapult strives to be an equal opportunities employer and commitment to this process will be expected.

About Us

The Satellite Applications Catapult is an independent technology and innovation company whose purpose is to promote, develop and facilitate the commercialisation and advancement of the satellite applications industry. The company is a not for profit Research Organisation, with a commercial trading subsidiary. The organisation embraces an open and innovative culture, encouraging an ethos of knowledge exchange and sector engagement, and has quickly become a world-class centre of facilities and expertise.

We are one of ten Catapults launched by Innovate UK. The aim for each Catapult is to become a world-leading innovation centre in its own specialist area.

Our Mission

To innovate for a better world, empowered by satellites

Our Vision

To be a world-leading technology and innovation company, helping businesses of all sizes to realise the potential from space. By embracing a pioneering, agile, collaborative and entrepreneurial spirit, we create valued partnerships to deliver game-changing results

Our Culture

The Catapult fosters an open and collaborative culture that stimulates and develops staff and encourages collaboration and innovation. We have worked hard to create an environment which is dynamic, exciting, challenging, rewarding, flexible and, most importantly, fun

The Role

The Chief Operating Officer (COO) is a key member of the Catapult executive team, reporting directly to the Chief Executive Officer, and responsible for running the company’s day-to-day operating activities.

The COO position is accountable for project and service delivery and operational services & facilities. The COO is also responsible for the management of the trading subsidiary of the Catapult.

The role includes:

  1. Participating in key decisions as a member of the executive management team
  2. Assisting in formulating the company’s strategy and plans
  3. Monitoring and directing the implementation of the company’s strategic & delivery plans
  4. Implementing, and enhancing, operational best practices
  5. Managing project and service delivery with the optimal allocation of resources, both internal and third party
  6. Development and implementation of effective resource planning, to ensure optimum availability and utilization of skills and competencies
  7. Responsibility for business objectives relating to revenue and surplus
  8. Oversight, operation and maintenance of Catapult property
  9. Ensuring the high-quality provision of facilities and services to customers and end users
  10. Managing the effective operation of Catapult trading subsidiary
  11. Understanding and mitigating key elements of the company’s risks, including state aid, health & safety and customer delivery risk
  12. Ensuring that the company complies with all legal and regulatory requirements relating to operations
  13. Proactively promote the interests of the Catapult amongst our stakeholder groups across industry, government and academia
  14. Support the maintenance and evolution of Catapult culture

Any other duties dependent on the needs of the business, which may occasionally require attendance at events off-site or overseas.

About You

Required Skills and Experience:

  • At least 15 years work experience within a hi-tech business environment, with 5 years in an executive position, such as General Manager or Operations Director.
  • Effective team player with excellent interpersonal, communications, public speaking, and presentation skills.
  • Solid working knowledge of operations, budgeting, sales, business development, project accounting and strategic planning.
  • Ability to lead, generate respect and trust from staff, executive management and external stakeholders.
  • Excellent analytical and abstract reasoning skills, plus excellent organisational skills.
  • Aptitude for open and collaborative working, and encouraging such a culture.
  • Significant experience in or knowledge of fund and grant accounting, compliance, and reporting.
  • Knowledge of the space sector would be an advantage.


If you are up for the challenge and thrive in a fast-paced and creative environment, send your CV along with a covering letter to

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