LONDON: OTAQ Plc, the marine technology products and solutions group for the global aquaculture and offshore oil and gas industries, announced a $300,000 equity investment in Blue Lion Labs Ltd.
Blue Lion is a Canadian data management and software company developing solutions to multiple water-quality challenges, including real time monitoring of harmful organisms in water to deliver more sustainable food sources.
Following completion of the Investment, OTAQ Plc will hold a beneficial interest in approximately 10.0% of Blue Lion’s issued ordinary share capital.
In addition, the companies have signed cooperation and licensing agreements which will ultimately allow OTAQ to incorporate Blue Lion’s specialty in artificial intelligence technology (AI) to analyse plankton monitoring data at fish farms. Importantly this will build on and accelerate the development of the Company’s own plankton/algae bloom early detection system, with a view to achieving commercialisation within the next 18 months. As part of the agreement, OTAQ’s CEO, Phil Newby, will take a seat on the board of Blue Lion and will help to support its growth.
It is estimated that the global aquaculture industry suffers $3.4 billion in damage and losses annually due to harmful organisms. The collaboration is focused on addressing this in the Company’s target markets by creating a solution that will combine OTAQ’s hardware expertise and Blue Lion’s software expertise to identify harmful levels of phytoplankton by providing real-time information to finfish farmers to allow them to improve welfare and reduce losses.
Blue Lion was established in 2018 by Dr. Jason Deglint and Dr. Katie Thomas, two PhD alumni from the University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, with expertise in machine learning and AI, and aquatic biology, respectively. Blue Lion already has the support of incubator and mentorship programmes including Hatch, the Ocean Startup Challenge and NEXT Canada.
OTAQ remains focused on creating a portfolio of products to improve management, efficiency and output as it builds on established relationships within the global aquaculture sector.
Phil Newby, Chief Executive at OTAQ, commented: “We are delighted to be collaborating with Blue Lion. They have an established AI platform and deep experience of its application in this important area that further enhances our ability to deliver a rounded product ahead of schedule. They are a dynamic team and we very much look forward to working together on innovative projects which will add vital new management tools for our clients to improve the welfare and productivity of their stock.”
Dr. Jason Deglint, CEO at Blue Lion, added: “The team at Blue Lion Labs is very excited to partner with OTAQ. This Investment and collaboration helps us in executing on our mission to develop innovative solutions to global water-quality issues. Combining our AI technology with OTAQ’s hardware platform and distribution infrastructure will provide both companies with an accelerated path to market.”
OTAQ is a highly innovative marine technology company focused on the marine aquaculture, offshore energy, renewables and oceanographic research sectors. It operates in four worldwide locations: Lancaster, Aberdeen and Ulverston in the UK and Puerto Montt in Chile.
OTAQ’s marine technology portfolio includes a market-leading intelligent acoustic deterrent system, Sealfence, designed to protect marine-based aquaculture sites from predation, with multiple systems deployed in Scotland, Chile, Finland and Russia.
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10 May, 1:40 pm GMT+1 · Disclaimer