Sharper Shape, a pioneer in powerline inspection solutions for the utility industry, today announces a strategic partnership with AI and Industrial IoT company, BLP Industry.AI (Industry.AI), part of BLP Group, one of the leading renewable energy generation and technology companies in India.
The partnership aims to provide large-scale AI-based asset management solutions for electricity transmission, distribution lines, and substations in India. This advancement in the Indian utility market is the latest step in Sharper Shape’s global growth strategy. The company has recently made several critical hires to strengthen its commercial and business leadership team adding a new Chief of Staff, Carol Marsh; VP of Customer Development, Bob Johnson; VP of Commercial Sales, Kristy McDermott; and Technical Program Manager Leader, Michael Granger.
Founded in 2013 and headquartered in both the US and Finland, Sharper Shape has continued to climb the start-up maturity curve, further accelerated by the appointment of Chris Beaufait, former Sarcos Robotics COO, to CEO in October 2020. Among the company’s customers are Tier 1 US utilities such as SDG&E and PG&E, and other international utilities. The company’s decision to further expand first into the Indian market and then to the rest of Asia continues its global growth ambition and trajectory.
The partnership with Industry.AI will combine the companies’ mutual expertise in advanced powerline inspection AI technologies to increase grid safety, reliability, and carbon emissions reduction in the Indian utility market. With more than a million circuit kilometers of powerlines in the region and significant growth of this expected, providing access to leading inspection and digital twin technologies will be vital to realizing the ambition of delivering reliable, affordable, and uninterrupted power for all.
The AI-based technologies will span advanced data collection techniques such as the utilization of helicopters, drones, and other camera systems through to AI-enhanced data processing, including machine learning, predictive analytics, and automated reporting, all centralised within a digital twin ecosystem. The ecosystem will provide actionable insights for utilities to increase grid uptime, avoid the risk of blackouts through predictive maintenance, and support environmental concerns through advanced vegetation management.
Chris Beaufait, CEO of Sharper Shape, comments: “This partnership will unlock the strengths and capabilities of both organizations to provide India with powerline inspection solutions that help meet its power delivery challenges. Sharper Shape’s asset and vegetation management software is currently deployed for over 38,000 miles of powerlines. It includes more than 1,200,000 T&D assets across the world. By pairing Industry.AI’s technical capabilities and market expertise with our global insights, we’re incredibly excited to introduce new capabilities for India and other utilities around the world. We have big plans for Sharper Shape, not just in the utility sector but also in other sectors that benefit from our automated inspection software. Our partnership and the latest additions to our team will allow us to realize these ambitions while evolving our cutting-edge solutions.”
Tejpreet S Chopra, Founder, and CEO of the BLP Group, adds: “Disruptive innovation and bold ideas are needed to transform grid operations, and we have extensive experience in deploying this through advanced computer vision AI technologies for safety and security in grid operations and substations across India. Collaborative efforts with partners such as Sharper Shape will see this momentum continue as we stay ever-committed to developing new technologies that solve industry and societal challenges, such as a net-zero emissions, grid resilience, and accessibility to power”.