Aberdeen digital technology firm commits £1.2 million to accelerate renewable energy innovation

20/06/2023
Fennex plans to invest £1.2 million to accelerate the use of digital technology in the renewables sector. Left to Right: Fennex’s Business Analyst Munguntsetseg Ganbold, Co-founder Nassima Brown, and Managing Director and Co-founder Adrian Brown

FENNEX, a digital technology company based in Aberdeen, has announced plans to invest £1.2 million to accelerate its transition into the renewables sector, over the next three years. The move will also create up to 12 ‘green’ jobs. 

The company currently partners with leading oil and gas operators and service companies, including Noble Corporation and Transocean, to improve health and safety reporting through its digital safety observation management solution, BBSS™ which leverages artificial intelligence, machine learning and cloud computing to enhance safety performance. It also specialises in developing bespoke digital solutions to optimise operational performance and capital project management. Now, it has set its sights on bringing those benefits to the wind energy sector.

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The £1.2 million investment includes a grant of almost £200,000 from the Offshore Wind Growth Partnership (OWGP). Fennex is one of just 15 UK firms and seven Scottish organisations to be awarded a share of the OWGP Innovation Grant, which is backed by Ocean Wind and Equinor.

The grant will help Fennex adapt its advanced health and safety technology for the renewables industry, improving collaboration and safety for offshore wind developers and contractors. The company said the three-year project will accelerate data-driven innovations in the offshore wind industry and has projected annual savings of 1 million paper cards by switching reporting to 100% digital and a boost of safety engagement of up to 30%.

Adrian Brown, Managing Director of Fennex, said: “We are very grateful to OWGP for the funding which is a significant milestone in transitioning our ground-breaking technology and expertise to the offshore wind sector. Our AI-powered safety digital solution has significantly increased workforce engagement around key health and safety issues while saving thousands of personnel hours in both managing safety reporting and in reducing lost time incidents.”

A collaboration between Fennex and the Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group (AREG), through sponsorship of its Supply Chain and Technology Network, will be the main catalyst for the technology’s development for the wind sector. This collaboration will involve working with AREG’s supply chain network and industry experts to gain insights into sector challenges and opportunities, which will help foster a stronger and more innovative supply chain ecosystem, thereby expediting the delivery of green energy from wind farms.

Mr Brown added: “We see huge potential to bring those safety benefits to the renewables industry. Through our collaboration with AREG and other wind farm developers and contractors, we aim to accelerate progress in renewable energy safety and foster a more innovative supply chain ecosystem. Over the next 36 months, revenue from the renewables is expected to become an integral part of our future business as we establish a dedicated renewables team which includes the creation of 12 new jobs.”

In collaboration with Fennex, AREG will run several online and in-person Supply Chain Network events for its members across 2023/24.

Neil McIntosh, chair of the AREG Supply Chain and Technology Network said: “We are grateful to Fennex for its sponsorship and very much look forward to working together to develop the network as an added benefit for AREG members, creating a space from them to explore the opportunities, challenges, and support available across the renewables sector. The skills and expertise we have on our doorstep can help maintain and enhance the reputation of Aberdeen and the north east of Scotland at the top of the global supply chain.”

Around 680 gigawatts of new onshore and offshore wind are predicted to be installed by 2027, with a forecast of its workforce to triple from 31,000 to 98,000. This growth is projected to generate enough power to supply approximately 657 homes each year, as reported by The Global Wind Energy Council.

Currently headquartered in Aberdeen’s technology incubator ONE Tech Hub, Fennex currently employs 16 professionals with the creation of new roles including project management, data science, software engineering and office support expected to increase the total team size to 28 over the next three years.

The company’s BBSS™ solution digitalises the process of identifying potential hazards and risk on and offshore. By enabling real-time data processing and streaming, coupled with real-time monitoring of critical safety trends and indicators, the insights gained from Fennex solution provide clear, actionable tasks, leading to quicker decision-making to mitigate risks and prevent hazards. This innovative solution saved more than 15,000 manpower hours and reduces overall costs by 70% for one company alone.

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