The UK government is backing industry plans for a multi-million pound underwater engineering hub in Aberdeen.
Bringing together underwater technologies from both industry and academia from up and down the country, ministers say the planned global underwater engineering hub will “reinforce the UK’s status as a global leader in the field and build on expertise in subsea robotics, remotely-operated underwater vehicles and maritime support vessels.”
Seizing the opportunities in the blue economy will also “help the UK’s oil and gas sector diversify and support the UK move away from fossil fuels towards clean growth," say ministers. The UK already has a 40% share of the global market in underwater engineering and is in prime position to capitalise on the industry that could be worth more than £100bn globally by 2035.
Prime minister Theresa May said: “Cementing Aberdeen’s place as an energy hub for offshore and renewables, the new hub would bring together areas of excellence in underwater technology under a single commercial vision. It would support industry, generate new skilled jobs and help us in the fight against climate change.UK government business minister Andrew Stephenson added: “As the UK continues to transition towards a low-carbon economy, the global underwater engineering hub can help the region rise to the challenge of this transition, helping to anchor the UK’s expert engineering supply chain here in the north east of Scotland.”
Scottish secretary David Mundell commented: “The UK government has shown time and again its commitment to the city’s oil and gas sector, and now we are investing in the blue economy to ensure the region continues to prosper with jobs, investment and innovation.”
Building on the existing synergy between the oil and gas industry and renewable supply chains, the new hub will form part of a continued package of support from the UK government to help the UK’s oil and gas sector diversify. This includes the establishment of the Oil and Gas Authority as an independent regulator for the UK Continental Shelf, £90m towards the creation of the Oil and Gas Technology Centre in Aberdeen and £45m for seismic surveys in under-developed areas of the UK Continental Shelf.