Four new SME partners join SIRIUS

The Spring 2020 General Assembly for SIRIUS was held as a videoconference in May 2020. This meeting approved a program in which Small and Medium Enterprises could become SIRIUS partners. As a result, these four companies became partners in SIRIUS on July 1st, 2020:

Partnership for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs)

SIRIUS partners, with one exception, have been large firms with well-defined technology development and research organisations. They have the economic resources and capacity to fulfil the obligations of partnership in SIRIUS. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), however, lack this capacity. They are, however, valuable actors in the oil & gas supply chain. They also develop and sell tools that can contribute to the SIRIUS laboratory. By working with these companies, we can find new paths to commercialization for SIRIUS laboratory results.

During the last three years of the centre we will be seeking to demonstrate how our research can be used practically in industrial companies. We also wish to demonstrate that our methods and tools can work with and enhance IT and business processes related to sub-surface data management, digital twins, digital field development, integrated digital planning and cross-domain applications.

Therefore, SIRIUS has opened for SMEs to join the centre with a financial contribution that is better fitted to their capacity. A SME can be a partner if they supply products and services that contribute to SIRIUS’ research programs and beacon initiatives. Their contribution to the centre is that they make their product and expertise available to the SIRIUS researchers and projects. In this way, we get access to the forefront of commercial tools. This means that our research can address industrial challenges, without the need to “reinvent the wheel” by building academic versions of commercially available functionality. Our SME partners, in return, can implement our research results to improve their products, thereby providing our researchers with a new path to innovation.

Two partners who deliver leading tools in semantic technology

SIRIUS believes that semantic technologies have the potential to revolutionize how we access and reason about industrial data. For this to happen, we need to have robust, scalable and commercially supported software. The OPTIQUE project demonstrated the power of ontology-based data access using pre-commercial software from universities, including the Free University of Bolzano in Italy and the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom. Since the end of the OPTIQUE project, both universities have created start-ups to commercialize and support the software that was used in OPTIQUE. Bringing these companies in as partners is good for both them, SIRIUS research and other SIRIUS partners. The SIRIUS laboratory gets access to commercially supported software for use in laboratory and innovation projects. The start-ups get access to industrial projects and can qualify their products against realistic projects with SIRIUS partners. Experience from the SIRIUS projects is used to improve the products and feed back into further research at the parent universities.

Oxford Semantic Technologies

Oxford Semantic Technologies is an Oxford University spin-out, established in 2017. Oxford Semantic Technologies develop RDFox, a highly scalable standards-based, in-memory RDF triple store and semantic reasoning engine. It is the first knowledge graph built from the ground up with semantic reasoning in mind. Many advanced features, including patented modern computing techniques, underpin RDFox’s ability to deliver responses to complex queries on the fly. RDFox is unmatched in power, speed and reasoning capabilities.


ONTOPIC s.r.l.  is a young innovative SME, which was founded in April 2019, as the first spin-off of the Free University of Bozen-Bolzano. Ontopic provides consultancy services and develops software solutions for data and information integration.

The key expertise of Ontopic is techniques and technologies for data access, management, and integration based on Virtual Knowledge Graphs (VKGs). Ontopic develops and constantly improves software tools that support the VKG technology, thus lowering the cost of typical data integration projects. In this way, companies and organizations can readily exploit the value of their data assets and make such data available for Business Intelligence and applications based on Machine Learning.

In the past, the founders of Ontopic collaborated with the University of Oslo, Equinor, and DNV GL within the large EU Project OPTIQUE, working on data integration in the oil and gas domain using the VKG technology.  After OPTIQUE, this technology became mature and Ontopic was founded to commercialize it and promote its use in industry. SIRIUS, as a research center, has been tightly connected to OPTIQUE, and therefore it is a natural development for Ontopic to join it. Membership in SIRIUS gives us a unique opportunity to reach out to large industrial partners and, more in general, to several companies for which data is a critical asset that needs to be managed efficiently and effectively, and that could strongly profit from our technology.

Two partners at the forefront of digital twin technologies

The other two partners in SIRIUS are Norwegian specialist companies that both have a long history of delivering highly technical products and services to the oil and gas industry. Their experience and products are important in implementing digital twins for oil and gas and the process industries. The two companies work together already to provide commercial on-line systems and digital twins.

Billington Process Technology

Billington Process Technology (BPT) is a supplier of simulation and engineering design services and software. They are based in Bærum, just west of Oslo, and were founded in 1998. They deliver process engineering and simulation services to the oil and gas industry and deliver a set of process engineering applications that work together with commercial tools for process simulation. BPT is a leading centre of competence in process simulation and computer-aided process engineering. Dynamic and steady-state process simulation is a core component in a digital twin for oil and gas. This means that their software and knowledge will be a valuable contribution to SIRIUS’ digital twin beacon.


Prediktor AS, based in Fredrikstad, Norway, is an integrator of operational data from facilities. They have supplied a semantic OPC gateway to Equinor. The semantic node set for OPC UA that was developed has just been open sourced by Equinor.

Prediktor’s Apis product is a component based real-time industrial software platform used in more than 1000 installations, mostly in mission critical areas within Oil & Gas, Maritime and Manufacturing industries. Apis supports a variety of communication protocols such as OPC, OPC UA, Modbus and WITS. Typical use of Apis is as:

  • Data Historian
  • Data Acquisition Hub
  • Protocol converter
  • IOT Gateway
  • OPC UA-based information modelling framework

Apis has extensive support for information models based on open standards from OPC Foundation. The overall objective of information modelling is to provide a standardized and unified way of accessing operational data from different assets. Major oil & gas operators are examples of customers using our products as an integral part of their digitization initiatives.

Prediktor is a leading implementer of semantic modelling of real-time data, especially using OPC UA. They will be contributing to work in the Ontology Engineering, Semantic Integration and Digital Twins programmes.