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Mitsui invest $4 million in Sky-Futures to seek expansion in drone-based remote sensing

Sky-Futures launches partnership Japan's Mitsui and Co.
Sky-Futures, a UK-based industrial drone inspection technology provider has launched a partnership with Japan-based Mitsui & Co.

UK: Sky-Futures, a UK-based industrial drone inspection technology provider has launched a partnership with Japan-based Mitsui & Co. The partnership will see Mitsui expand the use of drone-based remote sensing, industrial inspection and 3D asset management visualization to its global network of Mitsui companies and clients initially in the energy, marine and infrastructure sectors.

“This partnership with Mitsui brings industrial drone inspection into the mainstream. Demand for drone survey software is rocketing as a result of the shift to AI and machine learning that is fundamentally changing the way inspection is done.

Backed by $4 million of investment, the partnership continues to expand from its core offer of remote sensing and 3D modelling of infrastructure for maintenance to span software, training, services and consultancy.

Sky-Futures currently provides industrial inspection services to clients including ENI, PETRONAS Carigali, Amey, E.on, Costain, Lloyd’s Register and Shell, with over 9,000 total hours of remote pilot experience. The business also provides training to the UK’s emergency services, with Kent Police and Kent Fire and Rescue, and is currently using drones to support emergency response planning, and for search and rescue operations.

“Our technology enables tracking and monitoring of highly complex infrastructure over its lifetime, automatically detecting defects and saving precious engineering time. We’re excited to be working with Mitsui to expand our global reach”, said James Harrison, CEO of Sky Futures.

“From ships through to drill ships and FPSOs, inspection plays a vital role for the safe and efficient operation of plants, transportation and infrastructure projects. We value our experience of working with Sky-Futures on our own projects, and this is an opportunity to use our global reach to make a difference with our customers’ projects worldwide” said Ryutato Kiyohara, GM Ship Project Development Dept, Marine Enterprise Div, Mitsui & Co., Ltd.

The partnership with Mitsui was launched under the UK government’s trade mission for Japan, and follows the launch in July 2017 with the Essem Group of companies of Sky-Futures Malaysia – the first international Sky-Futures franchise.