Interview with our new CEO for US – Franklin Brent Abbott

Last week, ÅAC Microtec appointed Franklin Brent Abbott as new CEO for North America. Here is a short interview with him.

Welcome to ÅAC, Franklin Brent Abbott. What's your number one priority as Head of our US operations?

Number one priority is to get profitable work in as soon as possible. There are several actions that feed into making that happen, but that is, and will likely remain, the prime directive.

What do you consider ÅAC’s main strengths?

Having an established product line with flight heritage, something that is always huge in the space market. 

What are the main challenges for a Swedish company such as ÅAC in the US market?

ITAR concerns from customers, real and imagined. Many US customers will make a mistake on the side of conservatism and only engage US/US owned companies due to their fear of ITAR compliance. They don’t realize that a US company, although foreign owned, is just as easy to work with and that the responsibility for ITAR compliance is on that US Company, like AAC Microtec US. We also have the benefit of ITAR restrictions being greatly relaxed recently.

ÅAC has a cooperation with York, what impact does that have on our ability to do business in the US?

Having an established business line is key in introducing any company to the US. The York partnership should serve as a strong foothold, offering AAC capabilities to improve mission capabilities to customers in the US.

What are the differences between the US and the European space market?

I have seen similarities and differences. Similarly, they like to use inter-market suppliers, although for different reasons. Differently, ESA member states usually get to share in work per their contribution, there is no analogy in the US or North American markets. The great equalizers are typically the commercial space concerns, making decisions based solely on price or capability/return on price.

How you feel joining a Swedish company?

With the cultural heritage and the more recent global business success stories in Sweden, I’m very excited to see the Swedish cultural approaches and thoughts on space business.

Interview with our new CEO – Alfonso Barreiro

We have now appointed Alfonso Barreiro, a seasoned space sector professional, as our new CEO. Here’s a first short interview with him, the day after the announcement.

Welcome as new CEO at ÅAC Microtec! Could you please tell us a bit about yourself and your background?

Thank you for your welcome. I’m an Aerospace engineer. I always wanted to be an Aerospace engineer, since I have any recollection I wanted to work with “space things”.

I started out in the business working for the European Space Agency in 1987. For the last 20 years I’ve mostly been working in the private industry, with different space projects from different sides in the industry – always with a commercial outlook.

In 2001, I was one of the founders of Deimos and when we set up Deimos Imaging I became the VP Business Development for that. Then I moved into Deimos corporate, where I was part of the Deimos-2 mission that also was integrated by Deimos themselves.

In 2015, I took part in the acquisition of Deimos Imagining by UrtheCast and was a part of that operation – I was part of the team that went over to UrtheCast.

Since then I have been the VP business development in UrtheCast. That means promoting and trying to get complete satellite systems to be acquired and operated by customers. UrtheCast has two very big constellations that they are trying to launch and that has been very interesting.

Why did you decide to join ÅAC Microtec?

I was intrigued by the plans of moving ÅAC forward and expanding while at the same time maintaining the good reputation that the company has in the sector. It sounded like a very interesting plan and a great challenge for me as a challenge-driven person.

For me, business development is not only selling things, it’s also setting up new activities and organizing new ways to accomplish objectives.

You will hear me say this again and again: “Interesting things are seldom easy.” 

What do you aim to achieve for ÅAC in your new position?

I want ÅAC to be a well-oriented company that provides quality components for the whole range of our satellite platform and be a Tier 1 to the industry. And we must do this in a way that gives us a good reputation and international expansion. Fulfilling that vision, that’s the main aim.  

In your opinion, what are ÅAC’s key strengths?

The very professional way of approaching satellite subsystems and components in the Small Sat sector is key, which was one of the factors that convinced me.

I looked online and asked around and everybody told me that “yes, they’re good and their products are always good.” That was one of the things that convinced me to join ÅAC. In this industry, not all companies are like that – putting quality before other things.

I would also say that the Swedish approach is very important. Swedish industry in general is usually regarded as good quality. ÅAC microtec develop products that are reliable and good quality. That ethos, the way they are looking and doing subsystems and components, that way is important for me. 

And finally, will you move to Uppsala?

I will move to Stockholm! But I will be in Uppsala in the office every day, like anyone else.

I think it’s important that I’m there with the team. Management by getting to know the people is important. I want to get the feeling of the different persons that are there. It’s important for me to build relations with them and that each part perceives everyone in the team, as a one.

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European Space Research and Technology (ESTEC)

17 - 19

The 11th ESA Workshop on Avionics, Data, Control and Software Systems (ADCSS) covers topics related to avionics for space applications, in the form of a set of round tables. The workshop acts as a forum for the presentation of position papers followed by discussion and interaction between ESA and Industry and between participants.

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Space Tech Expo - Europe

24 - 26

Space Tech Expo Europe brings together leading engineers, executive management and global decision makers from commercial companies, government and military institutions involved in space industry activities – to network, discuss program activities and promote business, innovation and collaboration.

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ÅAC Microtec will attend "Stora Aktiedagen" in Gothenburg 27/11 - 2017


Our new CEO Alfonso Barreiro present ÅAC Microtec at "Stora Aktiedagen" the 27th of November in Gothenburg.
The event will be live streamed at For those of you who are in Sweden, you are more than welcome to come and talk to us. More info will be released closer to the event.

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