Expert to lead industry body as Scottish space sector continues rapid rise

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<p><figcaption class=Dr Hina Khan joins Space Scotland as first ever Executive Director (Image: Space Scotland)

The rapid rise of the Scottish space sector has reached a new milestone with the appointment of a highly qualified expert to lead the industry representative body.

Dr Hina Khan joins Space Scotland as the first ever Executive Director bringing over 25 years of experience in the space industry and with the intention of using her expertise to help accelerate the sector’s growth and collaboration.

Having previously worked at NASA, the European Space Agency and leading space data and analytics company, Spire, Hina has worked in the space sector for her entire professional life and looks forward to bringing a fresh perspective to industry.

Space Scotland provides a single voice to represent the collective Scottish industrial space community with the aim of enabling, promoting and developing the sector within the wider UK space proposition.

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The industry-led body is made up of 60 space companies, as well as academics and government officials, including Trade Minister Ivan McKee.

Space Scotland’s vision is for Scotland to become the best place on Earth to build a space business. It aims to help the sector achieve the goal of contributing more than £4 billion a year to the Scottish economy by 2030.

Hina, from Glasgow, said: “Gaining a leading role at Space Scotland was truly my dream and when I heard about the opportunity I knew it was something I had to be a part of.

“Throughout my career, I have helped many companies realize their ambitions in space technology, so much so that when I was offered the position of Executive Director, I could not have imagine better.

“I like to think of my role as ensuring that space capabilities are used by the people who need them as part of their infrastructure and for their business relationships. Understanding space technology can help us conceptualize the big picture and how space benefits our daily lives, from farming to the energy that heats our homes to just making a phone call.

HeraldScotland: Dr Hina Khan

Dr Hina Khan (Image: Space Scotland)

“The space sector in Scotland is a close-knit community that creates solidarity for businesses at all levels. This means that we can connect very quickly with the people who make the decisions to create real and tangible results, which is a great advantage. »

In addition to the role of Executive Director, the position of Cluster Leader at Space Scotland has also been filled by space, health and energy specialist Dr Natasha Nicholson, with other roles to be filled at course of the next few months.

Hina added: “The first few months of my role will be dedicated to ensuring that we build a strong team so that we have the right people in place to drive our space strategy forward and deliver it in a practical way, ensuring that that our goals align with what the government wants to accomplish.

“I look forward to many exciting years to come in this thriving and diverse industry and hope that the creation of Space Scotland will continue to have a very positive impact – an impact which I am delighted to lead.”

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Funding for Hina’s appointment, as well as other roles within the organisation, came from Scottish Enterprise, following an initial grant from the UK Space Agency to formalize the Scottish Space Cluster through Space Scotland.

Dr Paul Bate, CEO of the UK Space Agency, said: “As home to around a fifth of all space jobs in the UK, Scotland is a vital part of our growing space sector. .

“We have provided funding to Space Scotland because we recognize the important work they do to champion space, catalyze investment and create jobs. I would like to congratulate Hina and Space Scotland for this nomination. Hina has vast experience and I am sure she and her team will take the Scottish space sector to new heights.

Daniel Smith, Director of Space Scotland, said: “Hina’s extensive experience in the space sector spans both business and academia, working locally in Scotland but also internationally. This experience, combined with relationships between governments and international space agencies, really helped her stand out among the list of high caliber candidates.

“It is a testament to years of voluntary effort by all Space Scotland representatives that the organization has reached a level of maturity where it can secure the funding necessary to attract people like Hina and Natasha to meet the needs of the sector. I look forward to the results of their collaboration with our current Chairman, Craig Clark MBE, and our many members, to address the challenges and seize the industry opportunities.

“I would like to acknowledge the support of the Scottish Government and its agencies, and the UK Space Agency, in helping us build this foundation ahead of what I am sure will be another positive year for commercial space. , across the UK and globally.

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