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£4.4m of Collaborative Scottish R&D Investment for Subsea Sector Projects via International Call between Japan and Scotland

£4.4m of Collaborative Scottish R&D Investment for Subsea Sector Projects via International Call between Japan and Scotland

View all news from: Scottish Enterprise, Tritech International Limited, Verlume
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02 October 2018

Over £4m of investment has been committed to Scottish companies for five collaborative projects between Japan and Scotland to develop innovative subsea systems and technologies over the next three years. The funding is being matched by The Nippon Foundation and Japanese partner companies.

Across the five projects there are eight Scottish companies who have been awarded funding and five Japanese companies collaborating, summarised in the table below:

Japan Marine United Corporation (JMU)
Enovate Systems Ltd

Kawasaki Heavy Industries (KHI)

Hydrason Solutions
The Underwater Centre*

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI)

Coda Octopus Products Ltd
Hydrason Solutions
Industrial Systems and Control*

NEC Networks and Systems Integration Corporation (NESIC)
Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC)

Tritech International
Yokogawa Electric Corporation

SMS Oilfield (SMS)
WFS Technologies (WFS)

* The Underwater Centre and Industrial Systems and Control have not applied or received any public-sector funding, however, both have successfully secured commercial opportunities through the international call.

In September 2017, Scottish Enterprise signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Nippon Foundation to operate a programme of projects identified through a series of innovation calls to develop systems for the exploitation of ocean resources.

Over a three-year period, investment of up to $10m (£7.4m) has been committed by the Nippon Foundation to support the Japanese elements of the projects with a similar amount committed by Scottish Enterprise to Scottish companies over a three-year period.

The projects will be joint between companies and/or research institutes and universities of both countries. For the first call, £4.4m has been committed via Scottish Enterprise (£2.3m) and the Scottish partner companies (£2.1m) and this funding has been matched by the Nippon Foundation and Japanese Industry.

The call was designed to allow industry to shape the scope of the innovative projects and the each of the successful projects have been developed via the Joint Ocean Innovation Call process run by the Nippon Foundation in Japan and Scottish Enterprise in Scotland.  

The global subsea sector is currently worth approximately £50bn and estimated to grow to £140bn by 2035. Scotland is a world leader in subsea with a current market share of £7bn and has ambitions to grow even further. Subsea Engineering has been identified by Scottish Enterprise as a key focus for future growth and support and published an action plan in 2018 setting out key actions to help the supply chain grow and invest in innovation and infrastructure. The subsea sector currently supports an estimated 38,000 people in Scotland.

The projects selected to receive funding have the potential to make a significant economic and sectoral impact by increasing the number of jobs at the applicant companies and in stimulating company growth.

Work is currently underway on developing the second call of the programme.

The ambition of this international collaborative call process over three years is to leverage up to £25m, with one third of this total achieved with the successful projects arising from the first call.

David Rennie Head of Energy, Oil and Gas at Scottish Enterprise said: "We are really pleased to announce the first set of projects we are supporting as part of our relationship with Japan and the Nippon Foundation. It is great to see Scottish-based technology linking with a key overseas market to help solve technology challenges. Subsea is truly one of our true global strengths and this announcement is a key milestone to help grow this sector even further. We look forward to continuing to work with the Nippon Foundation on future calls and helping to meet the technology needs of the future.Ē

Neil Gordon, Chief Executive, Subsea UK said: "Japan and Scotland may be on opposite sides of the world, but the links between the two countries are incredibly strong, and have been for hundreds of years.

"Together with NSRI, we have worked closely with Scottish Enterprise over the past three years to further strengthen these ties and accelerate the introduction and adoption of new and disruptive technologies.

"This global exchange of ideas and expertise is incredibly important to both Scotland and Japanís continued success. It wonít only help to keep the UK at the forefront of technology development, but it will allow us to capture an even bigger slice of the £50billion global subsea market.

"The companies which have been successful in the first innovation call have been given a huge opportunity to leverage their renowned subsea engineering expertise to tackle the technological challenges to the benefit of the whole industry. Subsea UK and NSRI look forward to working in partnership with Scottish Enterprise and the Nippon Foundation on the next call."

Find out more about this funding initiative - click here