Robert Gordon University (RGU) and the University of Strathclyde have signed a five-year agreement which will see them collaborate in supporting new postgraduate marine research and developing new technologies.
The memorandum of agreement (MOA) was signed on Wednesday at the National Subsea Centre (NSC) – a centre of excellence for subsea research and technology development – and will be delivered as part of a partnership between the RGU and the Net Zero Technology Centre (NZTC), as part of the Aberdeen City Region Deal.
It will also see a new ‘Industrial Doctorate Training Centre’ established, with a commitment to supporting four PhD studentships each year.
The centre will support the NSC’s three strategic research programmes – transparent ocean, integrated energy and marine operations – based on challenges identified by industry and steered by an industry partner group.
The first project project to be delivered by the MoA is dubbed SeaSense, and is part funded by the NZTC.
This initiative will aid the development of technology that allows remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) to function in harsh, visually compromised environments, and aims to refine capabilities in robotic manipulation where tactical sensing is essential for accurate and reliable perception.
RGU principal Steve Olivier said the partnership would bring “real societal benefit” both in training early-career researchers, and in advancing in subsea robotics which can aid the drive towards net zero.”
“At RGU, we focus on research that has a positive impact on our world and enhance this contribution through strong collaborations with other leading organisations such as the University of Strathclyde—sharing our interdisciplinary thematic research expertise to address global sustainability and produce outputs of public value,” he added.
University of Strathclyde principal, Sir Jim McDonald, said the organisation was delighted to work with RGU and share our expertise from its marine and space sectors, as well as its industrial doctorate training centres.
“As a leading technological university, we recognise that strong collaboration is essential to delivering high quality innovation. Through this partnership, we can accelerate new research areas and deliver world class training.”
NZTC chief executive Colette Cohen, CEO, Net Zero Technology Centre, also welcomed the announcement and said: “Our strategic partnership with Robert Gordon University in delivering the NSC is enabling the creation of collaborative projects like SeaSense to tackle subsea engineering challenges, particularly automation and communications.”