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Mitsui to partner with UK drone specialists Sky-Futures


Sky-Futures, a UK provider of drone-based industrial inspection technology has launched a partnership with Mitsui & Co., Ltd. (“Mitsui”) of Japan. The partnership will see Mitsui expand the use of drone-based remote sensing, industrial inspection and 3D asset management visualisation 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.

“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 is backed by $4m of investment by Mitsui into Sky-Futures as the business 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 currently using drones to support emergency response planning and search and rescue operations.

The partnership with Mitsui was launched during the UK Government trade mission to Japan, and follows the launch in July 2017 with the Essem Group of companies of Sky-Futures Malaysia –  the first international Sky-Futures franchise.

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