An Introduction to ESA Business Incubation Centre UK’s new Programmes Manager – Carl Savage
I recently joined the ESA Business Incubation Centre UK as Programmes Manager, so I thought that I would share a few words for my connections new and old to find out a bit more about me and my journey into the space sector.
I’ve spent the last 20 years as a consultant helping small software businesses scale up. My specialisms were in helping them understand their target market, developing appropriate go-to-market strategies and enabling them to execute on business development.
Prior to that, I worked in the automotive and IT sectors gaining a lot of experience in developing and launching new products. Having an engineering background and being a chartered engineer really helped here.
I have always been fascinated by space and technology; I was gripped watching the TV coverage of the Apollo missions as a child and I also read a lot of science fiction – Arthur C. Clarke was a particular favourite. This was reinforced by a weekly viewing of Dr Who and Tomorrow’s World. At school, I preferred the ‘what’s the application?’ aspects of Maths and Science rather than the theory.
In my professional years as a consultant, I regularly attended conferences and expos for software companies and over the last couple of years I noted an increasing trend of space related companies both exhibiting and pitching for venture capital. Throughout my working life I’ve enjoyed being involved at the leading edge of different technologies as they start to reach mass adoption – robotics, the web and mobile to give 3 examples – and I believe the space sector is ‘the next big thing’.
An alternative view is that having a grandfather who was in the Royal Flying Corps, both parents who served in the Royal Air Force, and, a daughter with a masters in Aerospace Engineering who works in aviation, it was about time I joined an organisation that is involved in things that are above the surface of the planet!
My first impressions have been particularly positive. I’ve had experience of working with start-up clusters in other countries but what stands out here is the breadth and depth of technical resources – both in terms of people and facilities – that are available to companies joining the incubation programme. Having colleagues that are friendly, welcoming and helpful is also great.
I enjoy working with European organisations – I’ve done projects in 14 European countries, so I’d like to see Europe’s space sector fulfil its potential. Given that I have a competitive streak in my personality, I’d also like to help the UK ESA BIC to be sufficiently successful such that what we do is viewed as ‘first among equals’ in the wider family of ESA BICs.
There are enough fascinating facts about me to warrant a further blog titled ‘20 things you never knew about Carl Savage’!
One to share at this stage, is that 2-3 times a week you’ll see me getting outside and running during the lunch hour if you’re based at Harwell Science and Innovation Campus like me. Being interested in technology and distance running are both things I’ve enjoyed since my teenage years.
I look forward to meeting the many of you in the ESA BIC UK community and supporting your business growth and development, I am happy to connect with you.