Energy services firm acquires stake in university spin-out

Hywind floating windfarm
Hywind floating windfarm

PROSERV, the Aberdeen-based energy services company, has acquired a stake in university spin-out Synaptec.

The company said it has taken a minority stake in the Glasgow-based power system monitoring firm, in a move that follows an earlier "strategic alliance" between the two.

Synaptec developed as a spin-out 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, has collaborated to create a cable monitoring system called ECG for the offshore wind segment.

Read more: Aberdeen firm hails ScottishPower backing for cable monitor

ECG uses Synaptec’s passive electrical and mechanical instrumentation systems.

ECG's real-time monitoring and predictive insights led to £1 million development funding from Innovate UK in 2021, alongside subsequent backing from ScottishPower Renewables and Equinor.

Proserv said the investment strengthens "an already fruitful connection" with Synaptec.

The technology has helped win a landmark contract with the vast Dogger Bank Wind Farm in the North Sea off Yorkshire and it is to be demonstrated on Equinor’s floating Hywind Scotland windfarm off Peterhead later this year.

Proserv declined to disclose the monetary value of the stake.

However, Davis Larssen, Proserv chief executive, told The Herald: "Building partnerships and alliances is very much how we like to work at Proserv and we have a history of forging them.

"So, we see this stake acquisition as enabling closer ties with Synaptec and this will lead to further technological innovation in offshore wind and more widely across the energy sector.

"Strategically our contract on Dogger Bank earlier this year, alongside Synaptec, was very valuable, representing the first win for our new holistic cable monitoring technology (ECG) and also on the world’s biggest offshore wind farm.

"This was a key step for us into the sustainable energy space."