After the Dutch investor, drone and aviation entrepreneur Jaap-Jan Ferweda came in as both major owner and board member of Kitemill in 2021, the company has taken an important step into the next phase of commercialization.
At the board meeting on April 5, 2022, he was elected new chairman of the board.
-Kitemill is a leader in the industry. The company has the best of both sustainable aviation and renewable energy. In addition, Kitemill has a very good test site on Lista Airport. That makes Kitemill unique, says Jaap-Jan Ferweda.
Jaap-Jan Ferweda became a board member of Kitemill and also a major investor in Kitemill, after the Norwegian company took over eKite. Jaap-Jan Ferweda was a former investor in eKite, which was recently acquired by Kitemill. In addition to this, he is a shareholder in several aviation and renewable energy launches.
Will speed up: The new chairman of the Kitemill-board, Jaap-Jan Ferweda will help speed up Kitemill's commercialization, for the benefit of the environment and a green future. Photo: Thomas Hårklau.
The new chairman of the Kitemill-board, Jaap-Jan Ferweda also has business activities in wind farm development in various European countries, while he is the exclusive dealer of Pipistrel aircraft in the Benelux. Pipistrel is one of the most innovative aviation OEMs and a leader in electric aircraft. Jaap-Jan Ferweda delivered the first electric plane to a flight school in the Netherlands last year.
-I'm fascinated by aviation! I have my background from the energy industry but have become increasingly interested in finding sustainable solutions. Therefore, I see Kitemill's technology as very suitable for producing energy with sustainable drone and aircraft solutions. Kitemill's wind energy is becoming very competitive in the market, with good climate and sustainable solutions, says an optimistic Jaap-Jan Ferweda.
Kitemill with leader position
Ferweda believes that Kitemill has significant potential to strengthen its leadership position in the Airborne Wind Energy (AWE) sector. -To make an important difference, to make an impact, Kitemill needs to consolidate. If Kitemill is to maximize its impact on the industry, Kitemill must make some strategic choices, which will mean that the company must grow. This can happen through mergers with other companies in the industry, combined with increased funding in the form of new equity. Then Kitemill can commercialize its product within a few years, so that the growth can come strong all by the end of 2022 with upscaling of production in 2023, says Ferweda.
Lista airport, unique advantage
He points out that Kitemill has a great comparative advantage in that the company has its own test base at Lista Fly og Næringspark. -This is completely unique. No other company in the Airborne Wind Energy sector has such a place, where one can fly continuously. In addition, Kitemill has developed sophisticated control systems for autonomous flying. Kitemill is also looking at other locations for energy production with kites, such as in the border area between Norway and Sweden, as well as elsewhere, says Jaap-Jan Ferweda.
- New energy into Kitemill
Kitemill's general manager, Thomas Hårklau is happy to have Jaap-Jan Ferweda on the growing Kitemill team. Hårklau believes that Ferweda's long background and experience in the field of aviation, energy production and sustainable solutions for a green and clean future, is in the middle of the spotlight for the company's further development.
- Jaap-Jan Ferweda is a new owner and important contributor to lift Kitemill to a new and higher level, where we are getting ready for commercialization, says Thomas Hårklau.
Contributes to organizational development
Ferweda says he wants to contribute to Kitemill's efforts to develop the organization to make Kitemill even more competitive. -Commercialization takes time. We must show that our technology works in a good way. It will provide security for both investors, society and customers. I hope to help facilitate a development process, where we accelerate our development towards a complete commercialization of the company, for the benefit of the environment and a green future where we can contribute to achieving the ambitious sustainability goals, says Jaap-Jan Ferweda.
Family in Norway: Jaap-Jan Ferweda has been to Norway several times at Kitemill's test site and R&D center at Lista Airport. On trips to Norway, he can also pay a visit to his family, since parts of his family are Norwegian. His uncle lives in Ålesund and the Ferweda family has a background from Western Norway.