Simplified subsea intervention with an electric eel

From GCE Subsea

This year's Subsea Upcoming Company of the Year award is given to a disruptive technology for inspection, maintenance and repair operations for the subsea related industries.

The award «Subsea Upcoming Company of the Year» is granted every year to a young company in the subsea industry. This year, the award goes to the Trondheim-based company Eelume for their resident autonomous intervention vehicles.

Unique Technology

The award is granted by Sparebanken Vest, CONNECT Vest the Underwater Technology Foundation and GCE Subsea, and is presented at the Underwater Technology Conference in Bergen in June. – Eelume has developed a disruptive technology of worldwide importance, says Head of the Jury and CEO at GCE Subsea, Owe Hagesæther. – This is a great innovation and will become a significant contribution to the industry.

Earlier this year Eelume signed a cooperation agreement with Statoil and Kongsberg Maritime for further development of their swimming robot for inspection and light intervention.

Important Industry

Jury member and Deputy General Manager at Sparebanken Vest, Trond Lægreid, is also excited about this year's winner. – Eelume have convinced us that they have a unique concept for simplification and great cost savings. Their value proposition and business approach is very promising.

Sparebanken Vest has a long tradition of supporting regional businesses. Lægreid says that the bank aims to contribute to the development of this type of high-tech business in Western Norway. – Subsea is a very important industry in our region.We have a good collaboration with GCE Subsea. It is a forward-thinking organisation with global ambitions. To us at Sparebanken Vest, it is important to keep up with what goes on in our region to continue to offer good advice to our customers and partners in the future.

Eelume subsea robot

Great Cost Saving Potential

CEO Kristin Y. Pettersen and Chairman of Eelume Asle J. Hovda received the award at UTC 2016. They are very honoured to receive the award and the recognition this represents from the subsea cluster.

Eelume is a spin-off company from NTNU (Norwegian University of Science and Technology), and its technology is based on extensive research on snake robotics and marine control systems. Eelume is developing a disruptive solution for underwater inspection and intervention in the form of a swimming robot.

The idea is to let these robots perform inspection and light intervention jobs on the seabed, thus reducing the use of large and expensive surface vessels. With its snake-like form, the slender and flexible body of the Eelume robot provides access to confined areas that are difficult to access with existing technology.

Eelume robots will be permanently installed on the seabed and will perform planned and on-demand inspections and interventions. The solution can be installed on both existing and new fields where typical jobs include; visual inspection, cleaning, and adjusting valves and chokes. These jobs account for a large portion of the total subsea inspection and intervention spend.

Eelume collaborates with Kongsberg Maritime and Statoil to accelerate this new technology that will significantly reduce costs related to subsea inspection and intervention operations. The strength of the collaboration lies in the unique contributions from each of the parties.

They have combined the forces of three world-class players within their fields of expertise:

  • Statoil with a unique position in subsea development and operations, will give access to subsea installation for testing and qualification
  • Kongsberg Maritime with their unique AUV presence and track record for developing novel technologies
  • NTNU within the domain of snake robotics and marine automation

Eelume was founded by top academics from NTNU one year ago next week, and are currently in the process of recruiting a strong development team.

- We first came in contact with GCE Subsea (then NCE) late in the summer of last year and were given the opportunity to join the Subsea Next Step programme. During this programme, we managed to shift our focus from a technical and academic project to a lean start-up company basing our development on customer interaction and feedback.

The Subsea Next Step programme made us change our approach and become more customer and market focused. It also enabled us to understand the end-customers and helped us engage with and land this strong collaboration we now have with Kongsberg Maritime and Statoil.