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Sun October 17 2021

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Scotland and Japan forge subsea partnership

9 Oct 19 Companies from Scotland and Japan are to receive £9m to work together on the development of subsea technology, including a system to monitor floating strucures.

Fiona Hyslop announced the lastest round of awards
Fiona Hyslop announced the lastest round of awards

The £9m from a joint fund run by Scottish Enterprise and the Nippon Foundation will be combined with investment made by the companies themselves to create a total pot of £20.9m for the industrial research and development.

Scottish external affairs secretary Fiona Hyslop is in Japan this week to strengthen trade and investment links. She announced the latest round of awards from the joint fund. A launch in Yokohama heard how 12 Scottish companies will partner with Japanese firms to complete six projects.

Collaborations involve companies from Aberdeen, Inverness, Edinburgh, Coatbridge and Livingston. They include an £8.3m project to develop offshore and subsea ‘internet of things’ infrastructure, and a £3.3m venture to build a digital system to monitor floating structures.

Scottish Enterprise and Nippon Foundation run a joint competitive research and development fund to bring Japanese and Scottish universities and organisations together to develop innovative technology within the sector. The first round of funding, announced last year, saw £7.15m go to eight Scottish companies to collaborate on five projects. This second round of funding of £9 million includes support of £6.2m from Scottish Enterprise to the 12 Scottish companies.

Hyslop said: “I am encouraged by the continued collaboration between Scotland and Japan in marine resource development and subsea technologies.

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“In Scotland’s Climate Week, it’s good to see that a number of these projects contribute directly to reducing long-term CO2 emissions.

“The Scottish Government is committed to retaining our position as a global leader in subsea engineering - investing in our innovation infrastructure to grow Scotland's market share and supporting opportunities in other sectors.”

Executive director Mr Unno from the Nippon Foundation said: “The theme of the second round of the Joint R & D is ‘Blue Economy’, which includes not only oil & gas but also a wide range of offshore wind and fisheries fields; and we have selected five projects utilising the strengths of Japanese and Scottish technology.

“I hope these projects will promote multisectoral collaboration, global partnerships and develop the new ocean development market.’’

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