UK Company added to HE Space Group
HE Space is setting the foundations to extend its business in the United Kingdom and support the blossoming UK space industry.
HE Space Brexit proof!
In order for HE Space to grow its UK business post Brexit, a new legal entity, HE Space Operations Ltd, was incorporated on 17 August 2020. A company office was then opened in October in the Innovation Building on the Harwell Campus. Other actions are following with the aim to be Brexit-proof in time for the January 2021 deadline.
HE Space has been active in the UK since July 2013 with our first contract in Harwell. Since then the HE Space presence at ESA/ECSAT has increased to the point where we are now the principal on-site contracting company. Our support at ESA/ECSAT includes ESA's Space Solutions Programme, Climate Programme and Facilities Management.
HE Space UK will be legally represented by Dr Jason Maroothynaden as in-country director. Jason has worked since 2017 in ESA/ECSAT as a Space Applications Business Broker. For the past fifteen years he has been establishing, organising and financing ventures around the world. For example, Singapore, the UK, as well as an ESA Business Incubation Centre supported venture based in the Netherlands.
Jason, could you please describe your role as UK director at HE Space?
It's been a super interesting 2020 for HE Space activities in the UK. We became the biggest provider of contracted manpower to ESA/ECSAT and had to start planning to become Brexit-proof. In addition, there was COVID-19 and the ongoing issues around remote working.
My primary role has been to support the setup of HE Space Operations Ltd, the legal entity that will allow non-UK (or Irish) staff to work in the UK from January 2021 onward.
Could you let us know a bit about your background – what led you to this position?
I have a rather unusual background. Following an early career as a bio-instrumentation engineer at ESA/ESTEC, I left space and became an internationally experienced venture builder. In 2017, by accident I came back to Europe and the space sector and started working at ESA/ECSAT as a business broker in the ESA Space Solutions Programme. As broker, I spent a lot of time with start-ups and facilitate access to finance, particularly working in partnership with Venture Capital and Business Angel funds.
With my entrepreneurial background coupled with me being service manager, I jumped at the opportunity of becoming in-country director for HE Space.
Why are you passionate about people and passionate about space?
When I left the space sector, I realized that my passion for space was vocational. I had to come back to it. I am in a rather unique position in that I am deeply involved in the start-up side of things – supporting the creation of a new ecosystem of New Space companies.
My passion for people comes from my core values – my connection with others is not deceitful. I like helping, being a teacher, inspiring! Working as a service manager I have been super lucky to build a super supportive "HE Space family" at ESA/ECSAT.