A message from John Vickers
As we close on 2017, John reflects on the journey, looks ahead to the future, and thanks the very many people and organisations that have supported us along the way.
Another year is almost over. Another amazing year of progress towards establishing the first Blue Abyss.
With new team members, including Peter Hodkin as Project Director, Steve Bennett as Operational Excellence Director, and Vladimir Pletser coming into the company as Space Operations Director, freeing up Simon Evetts to move into the role of Research Director. Fantastic support has been provided by Anna Plaster, who joined as Customer Relations Manager; Jade Rosling-Lopez helping as Marketing Officer, and Elizabeth Lichten providing sterling aid to Rosanna Turner in Marketing too.
We attended a number of conferences as keynote speakers and we moved the entire build focus from Essex to Central Bedfordshire. In addition, we held high level discussions with the Deputy Director of ROSCOSMOS (the Russian Space Agency), had ongoing meetings with the European Astronaut Centre, one of the European Space Agency’s (ESA) key centres, as well as progressing our relationships with Oceaneering and Raytheon in Houston.
We attended a number of conferences as keynote speakers and we moved the entire build focus from Essex to Central Bedfordshire.”
On the subsea side of things, Patrick Phelan, the Chairman of the East of England Energy Group, joined the Board as a Non-executive Director and we held very positive meetings with the Offshore Energy Catapult and National Subsea Research Initiative Chairman, identifying a joint position which will help support the U.K.’s subsea community.
Sadly, some staff have moved on and whilst it is always sad to say goodbye, we wish to acknowledge the support and contribution of Celia Anderson and Grant Monk in helping us progress to the stage we are at today. Good luck to them both in their future endeavours.
There are more highly skilled and experienced people lined up to join the company from January, and we expect to be submitting planning for the site at RAF Henlow in the Spring of 2018.
There are more highly skilled and experienced people lined up to join the company from January.”
Delays are always frustrating, but we all must remember – this is not a ‘small’ project, and I have always maintained, better to have the right money when ready, than just ‘money right now’. Why? Because we have a specific set of objectives and the funds we take on need to align with them, rather than we fit into someone else’s way of thinking, due to ties to their funding. The funding discussion is being finalised, but again as often is the case, it isn’t in our gift to talk about who and what the details are until all is finalised. I’m confident that there will be a major update by the end of January 2018.
Finally, I may have missed some people off the acknowledgement list, without whom none of this would be possible, and if so I apologise, but I sincerely thank you. I remain totally grateful for all the kind words, support, and effort that others continue to show to me, the management team, this business and the project.
Here’s to Flying High and Diving Deep. Have a very safe and peaceful Christmas and I hope you too get what you wish for.
All the best,
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