Two Aberdeen entrepreneurs have secured £250,000 in funding from Royal Bank of Scotland to develop their robotics inspection systems for the energy sector, and create a string of new jobs.
Aberdeen locals Stuart Lawson and Andrew Johnston co-founded Innovair in 2015 to tap into growing demand for smarter inspection and survey solutions.
The pair draw on a combined 40 years of expertise and have worked together every single day of their working lives, beginning their careers together in Aberdeen as inspection engineers.
Rebranded this year to focus solely on inspection, the firm uses technologies from airborne drones to advanced non-destructive testing (NDT) robotics systems, which can access remote areas and high-value assets safely and efficiently.
Funding from the Royal Bank has allowed further development of these systems, and during the past 12 months Innovair has secured several national contracts across both the oil and gas and renewables sectors.
This includes a recent 3-year contract for the inspection of wind turbine blades and main structures across some 170 turbines and 3 offshore substations.
Another award, worth over £250,000, will see the company deliver specialist inspection projects for a North Sea oil and gas operator throughout this year.
Business growth and secure funding has prompted Innovair to recruit another three members of staff over the next six months to support delivery of new contracts.
Mr Lawson said the current pace of change in the energy sector was “remarkable” and had the opportunity to create “many exciting opportunities for growth.”
“Having the support of Royal Bank of Scotland to help us develop new solutions to meet demands has been vital to our continued success,” he added.
“We’re excited to utilise our range of solutions to help our customers to understand their environments, maintain asset integrity, reduce risk and improve productivity across the sector.”
Prospects for the sector look bright, with a recent report suggesting the global robotics market in the energy industry could be worth more than £8 billion by 2050.
RBS relationship manager Keith Linklater said: “We’re proud to continue supporting industry-leading ideas through our relationship with Innovair Ltd.
“The solutions that Stuart and Andrew have brought to the energy market takes advantage of their many years of experience and will play a key role in supporting the industry both now and into the future”.
“Backing local business is central to our purpose at Royal Bank of Scotland, we’ll continue to work closely with Innovair to provide the support they need as they continue to thrive.”