OTAQ PLC - Investment in AI Business Blue Lion Labs Ltd
RNS Number : 1510Y
11 May 2021


OTAQ plc

("OTAQ", or the "Company")


Equity Investment in AI Technology Business

Blue Lion Labs Ltd


OTAQ, the marine technology products and solutions group for the global aquaculture and offshore oil and gas industries, is pleased to announce a $300,000 equity investment (the "Investment") in  Blue Lion Labs Ltd ("Blue Lion"), 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 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." 






Via Walbrook

Alex Hambro, Non-Executive Chairman


Phil Newby, Chief Executive Officer

Matt Enright, Chief Financial Officer




Dowgate Capital Ltd (Broker & Adviser)

020 3903 7715

David Poutney/James Serjeant

Nicholas Chambers




Walbrook PR Ltd

Tel: 020 7933 8780 or Otaq@walbrookpr.com

Tom Cooper/Nick Rome/Nicholas Johnson

 0797 122 1972 or 07748 325 236 or 07884 664 686



About OTAQ


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.


The Company's Oceansense leak detection systems have a global reputation as the industry standard solution and have been deployed successfully on hundreds of jobs. OTAQ's Dragonfish laser measurement system is fast becoming recognised as one of the most accurate underwater precision laser measurement systems available. OTAQ also has significant experience in the design and manufacture of underwater connectors, penetrators and communication systems.


It seeks to develop and continuously improve its products using its specialist mechanical, electronic and software engineers with decades of experience in bringing underwater technology products to market. Concurrently, OTAQ seeks to expand its technology portfolio through acquisitive growth, with the aim of further expanding its aquaculture and offshore product offering.


OTAQ is proud to be fully ISO 9001:2015 accredited through DNV-GL. ISO 9001 is an internationally recognised quality management system and demonstrates OTAQ's commitment to consistency, continual improvement and customer satisfaction. The certification also demonstrates its ability to consistently deliver products and services to market whilst meeting statutory and regulatory requirements by applying an effective quality management system.


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