I've been invested in SRT Marine Systems (LON:SRT) for 8 years but it feels more like 16. The company had so much potential when I first bought stock but the early promise of growing sales of AIS transceivers to satisfy national mandates around the world never achieved lift off. "Jam tomorrow" became the familiar jibe of those who doubted SRT would ever make it big. No one has ever doubted Simon Tucker's persistence, eternal optimism and charm but even Paul, who once took a stake, gave up and moved on.

Today, SRT is a completely different company from the one I found back in 2010. Then it was basically a box shifter, trying to sell lots of high-tech tracking devices to boat owners many of whom really didn't want to pay for them. The underlying business model was fine. Design the product to be the best in the market, outsource the manufacture, sign up dealers across the globe who would do most of the marketing and the product would sell. It did sell but not in sufficient numbers to grow the business.

A sea change occurred in October 2013 with the acquisition of GeoVS for £955k. At that time GeoVS which had been spun out of the University of South Wales had 3 employees and had developed a display system that was ready to be sold commercially. Crucially, this software had the ability to fuse data from AIS transceivers, radar and marine maps to create a 3D visual representation of the environment in which vessels were moving.

SRT had seen the potential to exploit the data being generated by countless AIS transponders to create a system through which coastguards, port authorities and fisheries could see what was happening in their field of interest. Now SRT could become a supplier of complete maritime systems not just a supplier of one of the components required to manage the environment. This would be important in a world where fisheries management and countering terrorism were becoming as essential as simply managing the movement of vessels around the coast.

One of the things I always liked about the company was the relentless focus on product development. Gradually, new versions of the basic product architecture appeared. These provided a top of the range transceiver aimed at ocean going vessels,…

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