AIS Training's parent company, 3T Energy Group, has acquired virtual reality and software specialist, Neutron VR, to significantly strengthen its technological capabilities.

This is the latest acquisition for the global technology and energy training group, which purchased offshore trainer, Survivex last year, and also owns simulator developer, Drilling Systems. Globally operating from three world-class training centres in Aberdeen, Newcastle and Grimsby and with offices in Bournemouth, Houston, Dubai and China, the deal will help the Group to advance its ambitious vision to transform training in the global energy sector through technology.

Neutron’s skills will be used to enhance 3T Energy’s products and services portfolio, which includes advanced full-size and mobile simulators, v-learning and integrated software to manage training programmes.

All 16 personnel from Neutron VR will be retained and relocated to 3T Energy Group’s Newcastle headquarters with the company’s founders, Dinesh Kumar and Richard Coates, taking on the senior roles of chief technology officer and director of technology operations respectively within the Group.

Neutron’s reputation is unrivalled in the UK. The company was set up in November 2014 to bring virtual reality and specialist software services to the commercial sector. Both Dinesh Kumar and Richard Coates had previously worked for games developer, Eutechnyx, so were extremely experienced in creating striking visuals and immersive experiences. These unique skills, teamed with a strong background in software development, helped the company achieve rapid growth and win prestigious contracts with major multi-nationals such as McDonald’s UK and Global, Galliard Homes, Samsung UK and Equinox Gyms. All of Neutron’s existing contracts will continue and be transferred into 3T.

Paul Stonebanks OBE, president of 3T Energy Group and founder of AIS, said: “Neutron is world-class at what it does and we are delighted to add its expertise to the 3T Energy Group. This will be a key anchor business to help achieve our strategic vision for the Group.

“The team within Neutron will help us develop cutting-edge, technology-driven, virtual reality products and services for the global energy sector, which will truly revolutionise the way training is delivered. Products such as augmented reality, mobile apps and integrated software platforms have huge potential to make training more engaging, more cost-effective and much easier. Using technologies like this, we intend to help the global energy sector work smarter, safer and more efficiently.”

Dinesh Kumar, co-founder of Neutron and CTO at 3T Energy Group said: “We had been working closely with AIS Training for a number of years, helping it develop unique training and competency management systems so knew the company well.

“We were very much at a crossroads with Neutron and needed to secure additional investment if we wanted to grow further. However, when the option to join 3T came up instead it provided us with a fantastic opportunity to be part of a global group with technology at its heart.

“Virtual reality and digital technologies offer enormous potential for the training industry which is currently relatively untapped. Through, 3T we intend to bring new and exciting ways to train personnel which will make a significant difference to the global energy sector by driving higher safety standards and more competent workers.”

North East law firm, Watson Burton LLP advised on the deal. Marc Allison, partner at Watson?Burton commented: “We are delighted to have acted on behalf of the shareholders on the sale of Neutron VR to 3T Energy Group.

“It’s pleasing to see that Neutron VR company founders, Dinesh Kumar and Richard Coates, have been appointed at group level and will be instrumental in taking Neutron VR through the next exciting phase of its development.

“Our corporate team have had a busy 2018 and it was great to be able to demonstrate our considerable experience to support all parties involved in reaching a successful outcome.”