SNP Government funding of £15.9 million supported 82 companies to deliver 111 innovation projects with a combined value of £43 million to develop and maintain companies’ global competitiveness last year. This compares to a total value of £14.5 million of projects during the previous year.
The figures exceed a commitment by the SNP Government to provide £10 million to support higher levels of innovation activity within the industry to ensure its long term sustainability.
Companies have used the fund for a range of innovation projects, including the development of new technology to improve efficiency and to contribute to a new subsea Centre of Excellence.
Examples of companies supported to innovate during 2016-17 include:
TÜV SÜD, which is delivering a new £16 million Centre of Excellence for subsea development in East Kilbride.
Aberdeen based Enpro Subsea which is spending £1.5 million to design, develop and test new technology to enhance its range of products, and
ZiLift Ltd brought its £1.1 million innovation project forward by two years.
Speaking at an industry conference in Aberdeen, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, said:
“Innovation is absolutely crucial to the sector for maximising economic recovery, reducing costs without compromising safety, and for enabling our supply chain to continue to win new business overseas.
“Ultimately, it is key to ensuring the sustainability of the North Sea oil and gas industry for the future.
“The leaders of innovation will always be the oil and gas companies themselves. However there is an important role for government, working in partnership with business.
“That’s why the SNP Government has already committed to support higher levels of innovation activity within the industry to ensure its international competitiveness, alongside an additional £90 million to develop our oil and gas technology centre and a £5 million Decommissioning Challenge Fund.
“These measures, alongside continued support from the SNP Government will ensure the industry will continue to deliver to develop and provide employment and prosperity for decades to come.”