The UK Space Agency has appointed a top director at digital health firm Babylon as its new chief executive.
Dr Paul Bate will take the helm at the government agency, which is charged with providing technical advice on the UK’s space strategy.
The appointment, approved by science minister Amanda Solloway, comes as the government looks to boost the commercial and scientific contribution of Britain’s burgeoning space industry, which is worth around £16.4bn.
Bate is currently vice president of commercial at Babylon, the London-based digital healthcare app that last week agreed to go public via a $4.2bn Spac deal.
He was previously executive director of strategy and intelligence at the Care Quality Commission and served as senior health and care adviser to David Cameron during his time in Downing Street.
“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,” said science minister Solloway.
“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.”