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University spin-out company to float on London's Alternative Investment Market (AIM)

Published: 
26 February 2004

University of Southampton spin-out company Offshore Hydrocarbon Mapping Limited (OHM) has announced its intention to float on London's Alternative Investment Market (AIM).

It is a provider of remote electromagnetic sensing services designed to detect the presence of offshore oil and gas.

OHM started life in May 2002 with seedcorn funding from specialist financier IP2IPO and the University's SULIS funds. The company is based on 30 years of research which started with the study of volcanic activity in mid ocean ridges and developed into applications for the oil industry. Staff now number around 30 with half working as field crew in exploration.

Early stages of OHM's development at the Southampton Oceanography Centre involved much work with the University's Centre for Enterprise and Innovation to secure intellectual property, negotiate contracts and file patents so the academics could concentrate on developing their work.

Dave Pratt, Chief Executive, commented: "We are delighted to be seeking a listing on AIM, as we look to take the company to the next stage in its development. The recent appointment of our Chairman, Dr Pierre Jungels, enhances the strength of our management team, which I believe has the commercial and technical expertise to deliver on our strategy of becoming the leaders in EM surveying techniques and delivering value to our clients in the oil and gas exploration and production industry."

Despite its growing international reputation, OHM retains links with the University of Southampton. "It all started with Professor Martin Sinha and his work and he remains a Director working a day a week with us," said Giles Edward, a manager with OHM. "Additionally, we are proud of the fact that we are already reinforcing our links by sponsoring several PhD students and want to build on research links with SOC to offer students real opportunities in the oil industry and develop their work further."

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