Aviation is no cheap business. The production of an aeroplane requires expensive materials and components, which could not be financed without the efforts of the partnerships department. Read this blog to find out how they operate!


Tell us about your department! 


There are four Partnerships Managers: Janske Otten, Annefleur Maat, Koen den Hertog and Jeroen Janissen. We are a sub department of Operations chaired by Roxana de Nie and CFO Olivier van Haren. As partnerships managers, we have two main responsibilities. First, we maintain the valuable connections with our current partners and second, we find new partners in the fields of government, industry and academia that want to contribute and work together on the next step in aviation.


What do you like most about your department?


The best thing about partnerships is the contact that you have with partners. Updating them about our work, working together to spread our message.


What have been the biggest obstacles that your department has faced so far? 


Our biggest obstacle so far has been dealing with the sudden shift to online, remote work. In contrast to the departments currently manufacturing our beautiful Phoenix Prototype, we are not able to work together on a shared location due to the coronavirus restrictions. The same goes for the meetings that we have with our partners. Normally, these would be face-to-face at our headquarters at the Innovation Hub in the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering or at the office of our partners, but for now all our meetings are online. In our work, this does change a lot, but we are especially missing the casual talk with your colleagues. Luckily, every week we have several online meetings where we not only discuss our work but where there is always time just to have a chat. Furthermore, in the beginning of the year the whole team has set up a FunCie (Fun Committee) that is organising fun online social activities. And finally, working online has some benefits. To give one example: Jeroen is living all the way north in Heerenveen, and coming by train every week to Delft is pretty time consuming. Right now, he can spend even more time on finding the partners that want to collaborate with us.


What are you as a department most looking forward to?


We are looking forward to the big summer event: the first public flight with the Phoenix Prototype. At this event, all our partners are invited and it is a great opportunity for everybody to network, get inspired by each others’ stories and witness the awesomeness of flying on hydrogen.


Regarding your department, what are you most proud of?


We are very proud that even in these difficult times, we are managing to keep a very close contact to all our partners. At our Promotion Event before the Christmas Break, we really had the feeling that everybody was on board with our mission: revolutionising aviation. That family feeling is only achieved by regularly updating our partners about what we do, showing interest in their side of the story and working together on much more than just a sponsorship.