Global controls technology company Proserv has acquired a minority stake in Glasgow-based power system monitoring expert, Synaptec, with whom it had initially formed a strategic alliance in October 2020 to drive forward the innovation of disruptive condition-monitoring technologies for the energy sector.
Synaptec developed as a spinout business from Strathclyde University in 2014 with its management team, Board of Directors and Advisory Board comprising former leaders from the power sector, academic professors and energy entrepreneurs.
A technology consortium led and driven by Proserv, including Synaptec and subsea power cable engineering and consultancy specialists BPP Cable Solutions, with initial support from the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult (OREC), has collaborated to innovate the pioneering holistic cable monitoring system, ECG, for the offshore wind segment.
Proserv’s ECG utilises Synaptec’s passive electrical and mechanical instrumentation systems, integrating its unique distributed electromechanical sensors (DES) as a key element.
The potential capabilities of ECG regarding real-time monitoring and predictive insights saw it receive £1 million ($1.08 million) development funding from Innovate UK in 2021, alongside subsequent industrial sponsorship from ScottishPower Renewables and Equinor.
The technology has won a landmark contract on Phases A and B of the vast Dogger Bank Wind Farm and it is to be demonstrated on Equinor’s floating Hywind Scotland Wind Farm later this year.
Synaptec is one of several technology disrupters and start-ups with whom Proserv has recently forged alliances, including data analytics firm Intelligent Plant in late 2020 and real-time optimisation innovators Ortomation just last month.
These moves reflect Proserv’s collaborative philosophy towards innovation, as well as its strategic roadmap to pivot its business to the needs and priorities of the evolving energy transition.
This investment strengthens an already fruitful connection between Proserv and Synaptec, who will continue their work together to create and deliver instrumentation solutions to solve the many challenges faced by offshore renewables developers.
Proserv’s Vice President, Renewables, Paul Cook commented: "We have formed a close working relationship with the Synaptec team over the past two years as we have combined our controls and integration expertise, and reputation, with its own unique power system monitoring capabilities, leading to the generation of disruptive new solutions to support the offshore wind space.
"We look forward to further collaboration as we seek to identify more opportunities where we can deploy our know-how right across the energy sector."
Synaptec’s Chairman Dave Pratt remarked: "Synaptec is delighted that Proserv has become one of our investors, joining our existing shareholders who also supported this funding round. As a well-established, experienced provider of control and instrumentation systems, Proserv brings fundamental technical and commercial expertise which will be vital to ‘business as usual’ implementation of Synaptec’s sensor technology.
"Our integrated systems are already being deployed on the world’s largest offshore wind farm and the world’s first floating wind farm. Proserv’s investment and support will help Synaptec scale up to meet increasing market demand."
As part of the transaction, Proserv’s Chief Executive Officer Davis Larssen will take up a seat on Synaptec’s Board of Directors.
Speaking after the agreement, he said: "I am delighted to take up a seat on Synaptec’s Board. This is a team comprising both technical excellence and a pioneering, creative outlook, very much like our own.
"Our commitment to acquiring a stake in the business cements our relationship further and builds progressively on what has been an open and constructive alliance. At Proserv, we always seek to develop and nurture partnerships that will ultimately lead to genuine gains and benefits for the broader energy market."