A new centre which aims to speed up the development of new technologies for the North Sea oil and gas industry will be formally launched by Energy Minister Fergus Ewing in Aberdeen tonight
The Oil and Gas Innovation Centre (OGIC) has been set up to work with small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to deliver innovative answers to the main challenges currently facing energy businesses working in the region.
Start-up funding of £10.6million was approved by the Scottish Funding Council earlier this year.
OGIC’s role is to work with oil and gas SMEs and universities to accelerate the new technologies needed to bring down operating costs, improve productivity and address innovation requirements in decommissioning.
It is hoped that it will help to find the right technology partners as well as funding to develop and test new ideas.
The new centre links around 2,300 oil and gas operators and service companies to universities and research institutes.
It has access to more than 450 academic staff and researchers around Scotland, working not only in oil and gas-related fields but also in areas as diverse as gaming technologies and new materials.
OGIC chairman Paul de Leeuw , director of the Oil and Gas Institute at Robert Gordon University, said: “We aim to progress significant developments in innovation with our partners in industry and the universities.
“There is a great opportunity at this time for genuine collaboration in oil and gas technology development, particularly given the changing structure of the industry and the nature of the challenges it faces.
“By providing industry and particularly SMEs with a single point of access to university and research institute capabilities across Scotland, backed with advice, support and funding, OGIC’s industry-led projects will accelerate the pace at which new technologies can be brought to market.”
More than 100 senior figures from the oil and gas industry and Scottish universities are expected to attend the launch event this evening, hosted by Hydro Group at its Bridge of Don headquarters.