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Electrical Infrastructure Research Hub

The Catapult has appointed the University of Strathclyde and the University of Manchester to form the Electrical Infrastructure Research Hub.

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Live Innovation Opportunities

There are a number of programmes laying out the key technology innovation challenges faced by the offshore renewables industry that, when solved, will help drive down the cost of offshore renewable energy, with positive effects for the industry and UK economy. Visit our Live Innovation Opportunities page to find out if your technology has the answer.

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Bristol-based subsea surveying firm Rovco's cutting-edge subsea robotic systems provide offshore wind owner/operators with a clearer picture of their assets.


Subsea inspections are a necessary part of maintaining an offshore wind farm. But current methods are laboriously time-consuming and expensive, necessitating careful analysis of thousands of hours of video. All of this makes autonomous solutions a priority for innovators in the sector.

Wed 13 Jun 2018
Last Updated
Wed 3 Jul 2019

A Clearer Picture

Together with its pioneering 3D visualisation technology, Bristol-based SME Rovco’s cutting-edge subsea robotic systems provide offshore wind owner/operators with a clearer and more immediate picture of their assets. By creating real-time 3D mapping and stereo images of the seabed and structures underwater, it helps technicians quickly identify issues and instruct repairs, and facilitates more accurate predictions of lifespan and risk. Above all, it could lower the cost of subsea inspections by 80%, helping to make offshore wind a cheaper, low-carbon energy source.

Support from the Catapult helped Rovco secure two Innovate UK grants worth £1.46m and two rounds of private investment from Sustainable Ventures, Cambridge Angels, Bristol Private Equity Club and Green Angel Syndicate to develop its one-of-a-kind artificial intelligence-driven software. The system is undergoing testing and validation at the Catapult’s National Renewable Energy Centre in Blyth in a 12-month research project, Advancing Underwater Vision for 3D (AUV3D).

Rovco's 3D visualisation system undergoes testing at the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult's National Renewable Energy Centre in Blyth as part of the AUV3D project.

Our unique dry dock testing facility features a replica seabed, allowing technology developers to carry out trials in a controlled subsea environment. And our experienced marine engineers and technicians have the capabilities to replicate the conditions found on an operational offshore wind farm site, boosting bankability and investor confidence in innovative solutions that perform well.

Market Leader

In early 2019 the company secured significant backing from Global Marine Group, who purchased a 13.8% share of the business for an undisclosed sum with the aim of scaling up operations. The partnership will see both companies work together to deliver a range of efficient, high-quality subsea solutions to improve data acquisition. Rovco’s SubSLAM technology will be deployed from GMG’s fleet of 21 specialised crew transfer vessels.

With an estimated export revenue of £20m per year, Rovco’s robotics expertise has put the firm in line to become the market leader in subsea surveying. The company plans to create around 70 highly-skilled jobs in manufacturing and operations, and its expansion will bring UK supply chain benefit in the remotely-operated-vehicle and subsea equipment sectors.


Watch Rovco's Backing the Game Changers Case Study


“Since we began working with ORE Catapult, we have increased our workforce from three to 10 people and boosted our turnover from £60k to an estimated £800k this year.”
Brian Allen, CEO of Rovco

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Rovco's subsea survey system has an estimated export market of £20m per year.

The system could lower the cost of subsea inspections by 80%, helping to make offshore wind a cheaper low-carbon energy source.

Rovco plans to create around 70 highly-skilled jobs in manufacturing and operations as it continues its expansion.

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