Matthias Gronstedt is the Managing Director of HHLA Sky since 2018. His task is: “Make drones usable in a scalable and efficient way for industrial settings – open up the 3rd dimension, safely and securely, to existing business processes and add innovative new ones!”. He was entrusted with this task by the CEO of Hamburg Harbor Logistics AG (HHLA), Europe’s 3rd largest harbor enterprise, which is a pioneer in the extensive automation of container terminals, linked to a multi-modal distribution network connecting various regions of Europe. Drawing on his long-standing involvement with industrial networking and automation, as well as his IT-background & international experience in technical and strategic sales and business development, he set out (with a small team) to develop an entire system to allow active and intelligent control and monitoring of 100+ drones and other vehicles (AGV) and their tasks from integrated control centers. The use of industrial protocols and mobile communication networks, IoT cyber security standards, as well as adherence to international standards of machine safety – all have contributed in establishing a future-ready framework for the scalable operation of drones. The system, consisting of both hard- and software elements, has gone public and has been operational since early 2020. Matthias and HHLA Sky is also involved in various drone-related research projects, most notably in an ongoing initiative by the German government. Anticipating the EU-legislative framework for U-Space, combining research on topics such as prioritization, de-confliction, and demand modelling, as well as the development of a UTM-prototype (to efficiently manage drone traffic, primarily in an urban environment), has brought together a varied group of forward-thinking partners from industry, government and academia. Prior to HHLA Sky, Matthias has worked with HPC Hamburg Port Consulting as a Digital Strategy Consultant – after having completed a total overhaul of a construction material supplier. Matthias Gronstedt studied at ESMT in Berlin, Germany and has an engineering degree in information technology/IT, as well as a diploma in technology management. He has spent the bulk of his professional career working for Siemens.