Heidi Thiemann

Oct 9th, 2023 | Blog

Space Skills Alliance is a fantastic organisation dedicated to tackling the space skills gap.

Working nationally and internationally, they are an asset to Spaceport Cornwall’s Space Systems Operation Facility. This World Space Week, we were able to interview the Director, Heidi Thiemann, to discuss her role in the company and what advice she would give to budding entrepreneurs.

What is the Space Skills Alliance?

“The Space Skills Alliance is a small company focused on tackling the Space Skills gap, so we focus very much on collecting and publishing data and advising policy to help improve the quantity of skills in the space sector in the UK.”

What drew you to the space industry?

“I have always been really keen on the space industry ever since I was a kid, I was absolutely obsessed with space and I had posters of space missions and space crafts on my walls. It made sense for me to go into an industry I was really captivated by as a kid.”

Where are you based on the Spaceport Cornwall site?

“I am based in the spacesystems operations facility and I think what is really great about the site and what attracted me was the huge number of other businesses in the space sector in Cornwall here. It’s a great meeting site, it’s a lovely facility and it’s really good to meet up with other like minded businesses in this environment.”

How much do you think this facility will impact your growth?

“I think being in the space systems operations facility in Spaceport Cornwall is great for our growth because I get to learn about the skills needed from other companies in the sector and get to collaborate in this neutral environment where we can all relax and talk about these business ideas.”

What are the facilities at Spaceport Cornwall like?

“I think what I really like about Spaceport Cornwall and the facilities here is that not only is it a really nice environment to work in- you’ve got great offices, collaboration space, really comfy chairs – but it’s also really inspiring to see some of the activities other companies are doing. There’s a space integration facility where people will be building satellites, launching things into space. There’s loads of other non-space related businesses as well. I think having that environment where there is that constant inspiration going on is really useful when you’re working in the space sector.”

How do you think these facilities will affect Cornwall as a whole as well as its STEM cluster?

“The facilities at spaceport Cornwall will have a huge benefit on STEM, on education, on training. It is a facility like no other in Cornwall and it is great to have the opportunity for students or young people to see that there are jobs and careers in Cornwall in space in such an exciting way.”

Are you looking to collaborate with any of the other companies in this facility?

“We’re looking to collaborate with businesses based at Spaceport Cornwall. We speak regularly with Avanti Communications, and other space professionals. We also get the opportunity to take advantage of this great meeting space. We can bring in colleges and universities and discuss the skills needed and we can bring in other businesses in Cornwall as well to help them understand what’s on offer here at Spaceport Cornwall.”

What does the next 12 months look like for your company?

“In the next 12 months I think we’re really hoping we’ll expand as a company. Hire more people as the opportunities grow for us, but also having a more regional focus. We work nationally, we work internationally, but having a real focus on local space clusters is something that is going to be really important to us in the next 12 months.”

Do you have any tips for aspiring entrepreneurs?

“Something that is really important for aspiring space entrepreneurs to remember is that there are so many different problems out there that can be solved using space related data, and it is just up to you to identify what those problems are and how space can solve it. There are going to be so many business opportunities coming up over the next few years that you can really take advantage of. So, start thinking about how space can solve your problems here on earth.”