A DUNDEE company which designs electronic components and test equipment for spacecraft has completed its transition into employee ownership.

STAR-Dundee, which employs 25 staff, made the change after its founder, professor Steve Parkes, concluded it would be the most effective route for safeguarding its future, after exploring a range of succession options.

The University of Dundee spin-out, which is celebrating its 15th year in business, provides equipment to international space agencies and the space industry. Its technology is used by more than 100 spacecraft which monitor the earth, explore planets and asteroids and map the galaxy.

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Professor Parkes said: “Having formed STAR-Dundee and forged it over 15 years into a company with a worldwide reputation, I realised that I was not going to be around to see it through the next 15 years. It became clear that the future for the company was about the people in the company that had helped make it a success and the culture that we had developed to support that success. Selling the company to another organisation, which would inevitably change the culture and might even move it from its Dundee base, was not a very attractive idea. Employee ownership retains and strengthens the culture and will ensure that it always has a base in Dundee.”

The senior management team at Star-Dundee has been reshuffled a result of the change. Professor Parkes now of chief technology officer, with fellow founder Stuart Mills replacing him as chief executive.