Team 2017-08-23T08:28:32+00:00

The HCF Team

The HAT Community Foundation is run by experts in engineering, enterprise, and early stage technologies.

Paul Tasker, CEO

Paul Tasker is the Chief Executive of the HAT Community Foundation, and boasts a long career leading innovative programmes that transfer technology from research to practice. He is a specialist in complex engineering services and established the National Council for Through-life Engineering Services (TES Council) at Cranfield University.

Paul holds appointments as a Royal Academy of Engineering Visiting Professor in Integrated System Design at both Cranfield University and the University of Kent and has worked to develop the EPSRC Strategic Research Programme in Service and Support Engineering at the University of Cambridge’s Institute for Manufacturing. He has undertaken a number of engineering leadership roles in government and industry at both the whole system and equipment levels, and held engineering responsibility for the design and support of capital systems, most notably as Chief Engineer for the support service for the UK’s Vanguard Class submarines before leading the design of the UK Astute Class of vessel.

Now working independently, Paul was BAE Systems’ programme director for research into service and support engineering with the University of Cambridge, and engaged in the EPSRC supported ‘S4T’ programme, subsequently becoming chair of the industrial advisory board for the EPSRC ‘KT-Box’ programme, aimed at developing a research perspective on ‘complex services’ and the challenges faced by manufacturers wishing to transform into product-based service providers.

Xiao Ma, CTO

Dr. Xiao Ma is the COO of the HAT Community Foundation, bringing expertise in the creation of innovation in live data science, tech development, and management.  He is a serial entrepreneur who has built and grown successful ventures in the UK and China, ranging from collaborative consumption platforms, software, e-commerce, retail, and tourism ventures. Xiao has been awarded the prestigious status of an overseas expert by the Chinese Government under China’s 1000 Plan programme for Inner Mongolia. He is a consultant and advisor to the public and private sector, a PRINCE2 certified project manager, and he has created and led digital innovation for the International Institute for Product and Service Innovation (IIPSI), a £12m ERDF-funded project to commercialise research output for more than 50 businesses that led to the creation of 12 new patents. He has worked for Fortune 500 companies in Finance/Equity Investment, Utilities, Manufacturing, Media, Pharmaceuticals, Real Estate, ICT/Software & Computer Services, and Travel & Leisure.

Xiao is considered a thought leader in Innovation and Entrepreneurship. He studied Computer Science at the Beijing Institute of Technology and holds a PhD in Engineering from the University of Warwick.  He is a guest Principal Lecturer at the University of Warwick and holds a visiting professorship with the Inner Mongolia University in China.

Jonathan Holtby, Community Manager

Jonathan is an early-stage technology specialist and startup founder. He advises multiple startups in sectors as diverse as HR and recruiting, eCommerce, marketing, artificial intelligence, advertising technology, IoT, and mobile payments, and focuses on early stage traction, market validation, and positioning. Jonathan’s experience growing early-stage technologies comes from work across North America, Europe, and the Middle East, working with the innovation sectors in New York, Toronto, Silicon Valley, Montreal, Singapore, London, Dubai, Kuala Lumpur, and Shanghai.

Jonathan began his career in corporate communications, crisis management, and public relations at some of the most well-regarded technology companies in the world, leading the Hitachi Data Systems Hitachi Information Forum for the MEA region in 2014 and the Avaya SmartConnect and Avaya Engagement international campaign regional rollouts. He worked with European leadership in 2015 on the BT CxO Conversation Summit with the British Embassy in Abu Dhabi and UK Trade & Investment, and was a 2014 Leader of Tomorrow at the St. Gallen University Symposium in Switzerland.

Jonathan advises and consults on pre-seed traction for Good-Loop, Feral HorsesShape Influence, MavenVC, Hospify, and Quensus. He previously founded Firebird artificial intelligence, in 2016.