Make export control compliance easier ! Not less, but also not more, is the objective I had when incorporating RespectUs back in 2019, at the moment I applied for the Luxembourg start-up acceleration program Fit4Start. We were selected to the program and graduated with a two-head team in February 2020 in the Space vertical of this program.
A lot has happened since then. We got a funding from the Luxembourg national space program LuxIMPULSE (thank you, Luxembourg Space Agency) through a procurement contract with the European Space Agency (ESA). In September 2021, we hired a team of 10 qualified professionals and started working, based in Luxembourg, to build this digital one-stop-shop platform where users can process, day by day, their compliance work with regard to export and trade control.
The version 1.0 of our platform was validated by ESA in December 2022. We got tested by external early-users and are now preparing to open up subscriptions as of 15 March 2023.
Export control is becoming now more important than ever. A safer world for all of us, too. The international geopolitical situation is changing. Defense budgets are increasing and international arms trade too. Trade compliance, facilitated by a common system decided in multilateral regimes and implemented nationally, is therefore protecting national and international security. Businesses, if they want to protect themselves from costly violations, are facing increasing needs for more stringent processes. This is where RespectUs will step in.
I am proud of what the team achieved in the last 18 months. Building up from scratch, innovating in everything we were doing, thinking out of the box, having exclusively in mind what the people in exporting companies need for the daily needs, and considering at every step user-friendliness and easy language: this is our continuous work. Version 1.0 is out, and already offers a lot of simplification and digitisation. It proceeds from the more than 12 year experience we have in consulting with exporters on export control compliance. The concept of RespectUs proceeds, to be honest, from doing boring manual work in product classification for a client with more than 2.400 components to be exported. This is not we want to do every time, and we do not want our clients to have to to do that all the time.
We have 7 modules already live. During the next days, I will follow up with a description of all these modules. Some of them are really groundbreaking and providing tremendous added-value, cost and time saving.
But we are only at the starting point of our journey. We will continue to integrate legislations of more countries, after EU, Luxembourg, Germany and France. To be precise: at the end, you will find more 50 countries covered by the platform, a unique selling point for our solution. Our Development team will develop a mobile app, offering almost all desktop features, by next August. We will go multilingual. We will create an export control community and offer trainings. And we will release further versions of the platform, adding additional features over time. Our Business Analyst team will keep this platform up-to-date every, but every day, so that users can have trust in our expertise and the informations displayed in the platform.
But our goal always remains the same. We want our users to avoid heavy fines and criminal sanctions while exporting their products and technologies to clients and end-users worldwide. Our platforms aims to offer them a secure and trustful tool to determine if they need a license and to process all accessory steps required for such determination. We want a safer world for all of us, and this means that products intended for a particular end-use should not arrive in bad hands and be diverted for proliferation or other illegal activities.
At the same time, we do not leave our users alone facing a screen. At every step of our digital processes, there is a simple button to push to get RespectUs' assistance and personal help. This is how we understand our mission: putting all our deep expertise in a platform that users may subscribe to, but also - and this is very important for us - staying at every instant at disposal for our users to validate a specific point or reply to a question, provide an additional explanation or react to risk factors that have been appearing.
Help us in achieving this goal. We are very grateful for any feedback you would have on our work. Please tell us what we have done wrong, how we can improve and what you want to see in our platform. We have agile processes deep in our mindset and are able to pivot and improve very fast.
We want RespectUs to be easy and pleasant to use. All what we have done, we have done it for you.
Next to come in this series: D-13 - Knowledge Base, the collection of export control and sanctions regulations