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Highlands and Islands marine innovators urged to apply to international fund

By Calum MacLeod

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Elaine Jamieson, head of blue economy and food and drink at HIE.
Elaine Jamieson, head of blue economy and food and drink at HIE.

Marine sector businesses in the Highlands and Islands have until July 6 to apply for funding to help make offshore production and transport green, clean and sustainable.

Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) is a partner in the multi-national GreenOffshoreTech project. The project aims to boost cross-sectoral innovation among groups of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) using one or more enabling technologies to develop sustainable products, processes or services in four offshore sectors.

SMEs with innovative business ideas to develop green, clean and sustainable products, services or processes are encouraged to apply to the first call for proposal, which aims to support up to 50 businesses. Winning project ideas will be funded with up to €60,000 and offered support to develop their projects and to collaborate with international partners to penetrate the market.

The project focuses on aquaculture, renewable energy, oil and gas and waterborne transport sectors. It seeks solutions from four topic areas – advanced materials, advanced manufacturing and digitalisation, environment technologies and new energy carriers.

The international consortium was recently granted a total of €5 million from Horizon 2020 to support the implementation of GreenOffshoreTech.

Consortium partners include: HIE, Scotland; MNU, Norway; Forum Ocean, Portugal; Cleantech, Latvia; Centrum Kooperacji Recyklingu, Poland; Composites United, Germany; Cluster Mechatronik and Automoation Management, Germany; Iceland Ocean Cluster, Iceland; and Maritime Cluster Norddeutschland, Germany.

Through a competitive model, partners will work with the successful companies to provide a structured framework to drive innovation, direct financial support and provide a range of dedicated and tailored business support services.

Elaine Jamieson, head of blue economy and food and drink at HIE, said: “With two-thirds of the UK coastline in the Highlands and Islands, marine sectors are a major contributor to the region’s economy and will play an important role in Scotland’s economic recovery and transition to net zero.

“GreenOffshoreTech is a unique opportunity for Scottish businesses to connect and collaborate with other likeminded, ambitious enterprises from our partner regions to develop and commercialise new ideas for greener, cleaner and sustainable products and services. These activities will help our businesses and regions transition towards resource-efficient marine economies, and that is good news for all of society."

To find out more about GreenOffshoreTech and to apply, please visit https://greenoffshoretech.com/call-for-proposals/

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