Scotland and Japan open funding call for subsea innovations

Illustration (Photo: Pixabay/Creative Commons CC0)

Industry body Subsea UK and NSRI, in partnership with Scottish Enterprise, have launched the latest call for companies to drive forward R&D between Scotland and Japan. The call includes the wider underwater industries, focusing on renewables, aquaculture and carbon capture storage.

Scottish or Japanese companies with an interest in developing innovative subsea technologies are being invited to take part in the second call for a three-year initiative which forges R&D partnerships between Scotland and Japan, run by Scottish Enterprise and the Nippon Foundation.

Companies, either leading or partnering within a project team, can now step forward to be part of the second annual call, which will see up to a total of £15 million invested, according to the call organizers.

Initial expression of interest can be submitted via the Subsea UK website until February 15, while the successful projects are planned to be announced in September 2019.

The second call for projects follows the first phase of the initiative, which saw Scotland and Japan invest a total of £8.8 million into five collaborative R&D projects.

Neil Gordon, Chief Executive of Subsea UK, said: “This initiative with Japan is led and supported by Scottish Enterprise and brings the world-renowned subsea expertise which exists in Scotland to new markets.

“We are hoping this will open up opportunities to a wide range of companies and allow them access to the support and knowledge required to further develop their innovative ideas, tools and systems.”

Tony Laing, NSRI Director for Market Research and Acceleration, added: “Following the success of the first round, we are keen to further develop this relationship and introduce the opportunity to companies working in the wider ’Blue Economy’ including carbon capture, renewables and aquaculture.

“We hope this initiative will assist in finding new and novel approaches to solve some of the challenges facing the underwater industries.”

The focus on the ‘Blue Economy’ reflects the growing opportunities in related renewable sectors as well as the subsea sector, according to David Rennie, Head of Energy, Oil and Gas at Scottish Enterprise, who noted that a ‘healthy interest’ in the call was expected.

The associations behind the call have invited the organisations to get involved by identifying how their offerings meet the needs of the evolving subsea sector in regards to the ‘Blue Economy’.

The current market value of the ‘Blue Economy’ is valued at £50 billion, with Scotland currently achieving £7 billion, mainly from oil and gas. The global market is projected to reach £140 billion by 2035, according to the partners of the call.

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