Ambassador - United Kingdom

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Ian Downey


Fermi Avenue
Harwell OX11 0FD
United Kingdom
Phone+44 (0)1235 444319
Space derived information and capabilities offer significant potential as an engine for new business. The aim of the UK Ambassador Platform network is to encourage UK activities that will deliver sustainable space-based services and applications to new user communities and customers.


The Business Applications UK Ambassador Platform is implemented as a network of five regional Ambassador posts embedded in different host organisations, all active in stimulating space related business development.

Business Applications UK Ambassador Platform Network Coordinator (APN-C)

Ian Downey

Ian Downey coordinates the network for the Business Applications programme of the European Space Agency (ESA). Ian has 30 years’ experience in remote sensing and other space applications in both private and public sector organisations, particularly in the areas of needs analysis and business development.

The UK already has a strong presence in the global space market, which is expected to continue its rapid growth, especially in downstream applications. With the support of both ESA and the UK Government, the network’s aim is to raise awareness of the available funding instruments and to identify, promote and deliver a regular supply of commercially sustainable projects that use or are enabled by space. It conducts outreach activities and provides advice and guidance on business ideas for the programme across multiple sectors and regions in the UK, by developing relationships with new and existing users and stakeholders. 

The Coordinator’s role is hosted jointly at the Satellite Applications Catapult and ECSAT (the European Centre for Space Applications and Telecommunications) on the Harwell Campus in Oxfordshire.  The former plays an important role by creating new applications opportunities and stimulating innovation in new products and services for export.  This association also offers opportunities for engagement with new users and thematic domains through links to Satellite Applications Regional Centres of Excellence, other UK Catapults and innovation centres.  


Tel: +44 (0)1235 444319


Regional Ambassador Platform (RAP) Profiles

Business Developer

Victoria Christmas

Victoria is a bid specialist with a focus on bid management, team building, coaching, process redesign and independent stage reviews. She is an experienced and successful Bid Manager with over fifteen years’ experience in client facing roles and a proven ability to engage and communicate with stakeholders at all levels. She brings expert knowledge of bid management tools such as Award and SharePoint as well as experience of working within framework contracts and managing customer interfaces. She holds a BA (Hons) Business Studies degree, is APMP qualified and holds current SC security clearance.

The Business Developer role assists the network by providing feedback on ideas received, to promote more compelling proposal submissions to ESA. This includes an element of coaching and mentoring for industry, to support bidders in preparing ideas for ESA’s Business Applications programme. Victoria is based at ECSAT, Harwell.







Michael Hanley

Michael is an experienced partnership and bid developer, adept at identifying opportunities for innovation and collaboration and ensuring beneficial outcomes. He has worked in Knowledge Exchange and Research Impact for the past three years, bringing his background in Earth Observation to the south west marine and environmental sectors. Michael has coordinated large partnership bids to various funders including: European Commission,  National Lottery Heritage Fund and UKRI. Michael is also experienced in building campaigns and strategies for growth, having built and grown the University of Exeter's marine research community ExeterMarine, an interdisciplinary grouping of over 350 researchers. Michael is keen to capitalise upon the thriving and energetic space sector in the South West and South Wales, facilitating greater collaboration between the facilities, business support and academia to drive commercial innovation.

RAP-SW is hosted by the University of Exeter, through the Satellite Applications Catapult Southwest Centre of Excellence, and is based at the University of Exeter's Cornwall Campus.








UK Regional Ambassador Platform – Scotland & Northern Ireland (RAP-ScotNI)

Pamela Anderson

Pam is a Chartered Engineer with a PhD in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. She has experience of various stages of the space lifecycle, gained over the last nine years whilst working in industry (Clyde Space), academia (University of Strathclyde), Catapult Centres (Satellite Applications Catapult and the High Value Manufacturing Catapult) and Space Agencies (NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory). Pam has demonstrated her engineering ability in mission analysis and design, CubeSat development and aerospace manufacturing, in addition to skills in project management, business development and knowledge exchange. Pam has a passion for education and outreach and is part of the Royal Society of Edinburgh Speakers Programme and a STEM Ambassador.

RAP-ScotNI is hosted by the Satellite Applications Catapult Scottish Centre of Excellence (SoXSA), at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow. Pam will also be working closely with Scottish Enterprise (SE), Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), and Invest NI, Northern Ireland’s economic development agency. 






UK Regional Ambassador Platform – North West England and North Wales (RAP-NW )

Alan Cross

Alan is a co-founder and former Chair of the Northern Space Consortium CIC, which aims to nurture the region’s space industry by organising events, engaging, connecting and coordinating the North West of England and North Wales with the key players in the space industry. This covers both upstream and downstream sectors, nationally and internationally.  Alan is a skilled and passionate communicator with a lifelong passion for astronautics and astronomy. He has more than a decade of experience in managing and delivering client focused solutions, including several years engaging regional businesses and stakeholders within the space industry. Alan is also a member of, and space adviser to, the North West's Regional Manufacturing Forum working to address challenges and provide leadership for the region’s manufacturing sector.

As the Regional Ambassador, Alan will be exploring how collaboration between businesses can also deliver real change and prosperity to the region. RAP-NW is hosted by the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) at their Daresbury site near Warrington.






UK Regional Ambassador Platform – Midlands and North East England (RAP-MNE)

Kavitha Muthu

Kavitha has more than a decade of experience within the Space sector, from conceptualisation to delivery of innovative applications using space technologies and Geographical Information Systems (GIS). She has a PhD in expert systems and fuzzy techniques for landslide mapping using Earth Observation (EO) and machine learning. She has a diverse range of work experience including the roles of Space Innovation Facilitator, Programme/Project Manager, Technical Lead on EO applications and bid manager. She also has a track record in organising and delivering end user workshops;  contributing to the development of commercialisation roadmaps;  and building stakeholder engagements with SMEs, Industry, Academic and Government departments to promote uptake of EO data and services/solutions.

The region is recognised as being strong in the space sector, especially in agri-tech and forestry, intelligent transport and mobility, and healthcare and life sciences. RAP-MNE will work with innovation support services across the region and will have regional offices at the Centres of Excellence in Leicester and Durham.





Regional Ambassador Platform - London and South East England (RAP-SE)

Tom Greenwood

Tom is an expert facilitator and network coordinator, bringing his background in Geography and Environmental Sciences to the role of Regional Ambassador for London and the South East. He has been managing knowledge exchange activity since 2012 amongst mixed stakeholder groups, connecting research and innovation to business. Prior to joining the ESA Business Applications Regional Ambassador Platform, his previous roles include Innovation Fellow for the Satellite Applications Catapult South Coast Centre of Excellence, and Research and Innovation Facilitator at the University of Portsmouth. His strengths can be found in providing platforms for the development of collaborative ventures, projects and partnerships. In addition, he has a track record of delivering high quality and engaging workshops for mixed stakeholder groups and providing dedicated support in bid development.

RAP-SE is hosted by the University of Portsmouth through the Satellite Applications Catapult South Coast Centre of Excellence.