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£6.9m funding for 'green' projects in Scotland

Energy Minister Jim Mather has announced a package of major funding from the European Regional Development Fund for Scotland's renewable energy and low carbon innovation projects, including £1.05 million to university research.
The £6.9 million investment represents a strategic intervention to support the development of the low carbon economy in Scotland, which covers a range of low carbon energy technologies, supporting industry and academic collaboration from marine energy to offshore wind.

£1.05 million of this investment will go to to the Energy Technology Partnership Knowledge Exchange Network, to enable an alliance of Scottish universities working on energy related research and development. Universities will be able to work more closely with industry to allow a knowledge exchange between academia and SMEs and will work across a whole range of low carbon energy technologies.

The investment includes £800,000 for Fife's Adam Smith College to help companies develop new and innovative products, an £831,000 grant to provide skills training at Dundee College and almost £300,000 pounds to improve infrastructure in Peterhead for the offshore wind, wave and tidal industries.

Mr Mather said: 'These significant investments from the European Regional Development Fund are being made to help position Scotland firmly at the forefront of innovation, research and development in clean, green renewable energy - and deliver the commitment set out in our Low Carbon Economic Strategy to support low carbon innovation.

'The breadth of projects being supported - from academic-led initiatives to local authority and enterprise agency programmes - demonstrate how the development of a low carbon economy has become central to our growth strategy. These projects will help us to sustain the economic recovery underway in Scotland and further capitalise on our natural competitive advantages in renewable energy, which are crucial to our future success as a nation.'

Dr Simon Puttock, executive director of the Energy Technology Partnership, said: 'The Energy Technology Partnership (ETP) welcomes this award to accelerate the development of low carbon technologies. Our new Knowledge Exchange Network will greatly increase collaboration between industry and ETP's world class research base, for the benefit of business and Scotland's low carbon economy.'

Adrian Gillespie, director of energy and low carbon technologies, is also supportive of the investment: 'Scottish Enterprise is pleased to have secured European funding for the Energetica project and the Offshore Wind Supply Chain programme. Some of Scotland's greatest economic potential lies in developing a globally competitive industry based on our renewable and low carbon energy resources. These projects will support development of our renewables sector both by providing a 21st century business environment and world leading supply chain for the next generation of energy industry.'

Christina Potter, principal of Dundee College, said: 'The development of renewable energy is a key economic opportunity for the city. Dundee College has a crucial role to play in ensuring the supply of skills for this emerging industry. This facility allows the training we deliver to be industry focused and in line with employer skills and health and safety requirements. We are very excited to have been successful in acquiring this funding.'

The allocations are as follows:

• £800,000 - Adam Smith College - Collaborative Innovative Networks.
This will provide companies with tools and expertise to create new and innovative products, processes and services that have minimal environmental impact.

• £861,000 - Fife Council - Fife Energy Zone.
This will assist development of the Methil Low Carbon Investment Park, providing a location for manufacturers and businesses within the renewables supply chain near Energy Park Fife.

• £831,000 - Dundee College - Dundee Renewables Training Tower.
This will be a full size reconditioned turbine with a mixture of simulation models, to meet business demand for skills training in renewable energy and energy resource efficiency areas.

• £625,000 - Crichton Carbon Centre - Environmentally Sustainable Process Improvement.
This will enable SMEs to (re)view, (re)design, and (re)develop supply and production processes by taking account of the complete life-cycle of goods and services from raw material to end of life.

• £582,000 - Edinburgh Napier University - National Biofuel Resource Centre.
This will help SMEs minimise their waste disposal costs and provide tailored information and knowledge in the energy field. It will also identify appropriate partner SMEs to assist less experienced business with scoping studies and case studies.

• £582,000 - Scottish Enterprise - Offshore Wind Supply Chain Development
Programme.
A three-year project to ensure the Scottish offshore renewables supply chain, particularly including SMEs, realise the economic opportunities from offshore energy production. It will support Scottish-based companies in securing business from UK and international marketplaces.

• £502,000 - the Sustainable Energy Technology and Innovation Centre - Accelerated Development Programme for Renewable SMEs.
This will provide development, test and demonstration services to SMEs developing renewables technologies. It aims to establish a strong supply chain to offer proven technologies to the market and enhance the reliability of systems offered to the wind and marine sectors.

• £396,000 - the University of Edinburgh - RENEW-NET Phase 2 project.
This will provide assistance to SMEs in the renewable energy sector by assisting with building capacity and capability in electrical power engineering and providing links for knowledge exchange from science to business and business to business.

• £270,000 - the University of Abertay - LoCal-Net.
This will encourage SME innovation and research in low carbon technologies - contributing to reduced energy demand, waste and increased renewable energy provision - and intelligent land use.

• £299,000 - Scottish Enterprise project - Energetica Industry Park, Peterhead.
This will deliver 27,000 sq m of serviced land to provide a new mixed used business park in Peterhead to support SMEs in the renewable energy and oil and gas decommissioning market.

• £184,000 - Perth and Kinross Council - East of Scotland Renewables.
Led by Perth and Kinross Council, a partnership of local authorities in the East of Scotland will work to assist rural SMEs to create business clusters and develop supply chain relationships in support of the renewable energy sector.
22 March 2011

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