Oil and gas firms are set to benefit from access to advanced capabilities that can cut costs and enhance materials used in the energy industry following a new agreement between teams of technology experts.
A new collaboration between the Oil & Gas Innovation Centre (OGIC) and the High Value Manufacturing (HVM) Catapult will see OGIC host a representative from HMV Catapult in its Aberdeen office to support engagement with the oil and gas industry and drive cross-industry collaboration and innovation.
The HVM Catapult is a network of seven major UK technology and innovation centres, three of which are co-operating to fund the new post to bring their know-how to the oil and gas sector.
The three facilities involved are the Advanced Forming Research Centre (AFRC) based at Strathclyde University, the National Composites Centre (NCC) based in Bristol and the Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (NAMRC), based at the University of Sheffield.
The HVM Catapult is supported by UK government through Innovate UK and gives scientists, engineers and entrepreneurs access to a pool of expertise and experience within academia, research, industry and government and bridges the gap between early innovation and industrial-scale manufacturing, where real wealth is created.
OGIC provides a single access point to the knowledge and capabilities of Scottish universities for the oil and gas industry. It part-funds and provides management support to projects with the potential to deliver technology solutions to the exploration, production and decommissioning challenges facing the industry.
It effectively links more than 2,500 oil and gas operators and service companies to 450 academic staff and researchers in Scotland working in oil and gas related areas.
AFRC has the most extensive suite of forming and forging R&D capabilities in the English speaking world.
The centre’s ability to measure, model and manage residual stress supports improvements in component life.
The NCC focuses on the development of products that are light, strong and extremely corrosion and fatigue resistant.
The NAMRC focuses on large-scale, high-precision manufacturing challenges for the most demanding industries. It offers some of the largest and most advanced machining centres and welding facilities available for collaborative R&D anywhere in the world, including very large vertical turning/milling and horizontal boring, 5-axis machining, deep-hole drilling, electron beam welding, diode laser cladding, hot isotactic pressing, and large-volume metrology.
Ian Phillips, chief executive of OGIC, said: “Accessing the latest research and design capabilities within the fields of composites, forming and advanced manufacturing will provide the oil and gas industry with unrivalled opportunities to innovate and address the complex technical challenges it faces.
“It is essential that we collaborate more effectively and learn from other industries. This new partnership with three of the HVMC centres will support this agenda and help to accelerate the pace of innovation in the industry.”
Dick Elsy, Chief Executive of the HVM Catapult, said: “We have a productive engagement with the oil and gas industry, which is set to grow in scale and importance with our new presence in Aberdeen.