Global offshore engineering group takes stake in Bristol subsea inspections tech firm

February 22, 2019
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Bristol tech firm Rovco, which is developing 3D vision and Artificial Intelligence techniques for subsea inspections, has formed an investment partnership with a market leader in offshore engineering.

The link up with Global Marine Group (GMG) comes less than a year after Rovco received a £400,000 investment from the Bristol Private Equity Club, which has enabled it to grow and further develop its technologies for use in the offshore renewable industry and oil-field decommissioning. 

GMG has secured a 13.8% share in Rovco, which will enable both companies to work together to deliver a range of efficient, high-quality subsea products. 

GMG is made up of three business units – Global Offshore, CWind and Global Marine. Rovco’s latest development, SubSLAM, which replaces traditional video inspection with live 3D reconstruction technology to obtain an accurate picture of subsea assets and environments, will be used on GMG’s fleet of 21 specialised crew transfer vessels.

GMG’s eight cable installation and maintenance vessels, which are located across the globe, will also be able to support IRM (inspect, repair and maintenance) projects. 

SubSLAM enhances the accuracy and repeatability of subsea inspection, producing sub-millimetric data, and providing actionable information that reduces human error.

The partnership will also streamline multiple services and optimise current offshore operations to drive down costs and increase efficiencies. The mutually-beneficial partnership will enable both Rovco and GMG to serve a wider range of customers beyond their established industries.  

Global Offshore managing director Mike Daniel has joined Rovco’s board. He said: “Our partnership with Rovco enables us to continually evolve our client-centric subsea solutions. By utilising a combination of innovation and engineering excellence, we can deliver a greater range of services to enhance our customers’ operations, worldwide.” 

Rovco founder and CEO Brian Allen added: “This is a large step towards improving the efficiency of offshore IRM campaigns. We have industry leading data quality and the intelligence acquired will support pre-emptive asset maintenance and fault prediction, enabling customers to easily predict asset lifespan and corrosion or depletion rates.

“The partnership brings with it the creation of important synergies that will lead to the development of even more innovative solutions to benefit the offshore industry for years to come.” 

Bristol Private Equity Club founding member Jerry Barnes welcomed the latest move. “The partnership will be of benefit to many clients of both businesses and will help the development of the technology,” he said.

“It is very satisfying to see a business that private entrepreneurs and business people in Bristol have backed take the next step in its development. We retain our stake in Rovco.” 

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