Innovation aims to ‘unlock’ North Sea assets
The OGTC Innovation Hub has been unveiled, aimed at allowing companies from different sectors to meet up and share knowledge. Mark Lammey reports.
A new facility designed to speed up the development of oil and gas technology has been unveiled in Aberdeen.
The Innovation Hub at the Oil and Gas Technology Centre (OGTC) will support ideas which could “unlock” the North Sea’s remaining reserves and inspire the next generation.
It will provide a space for companies from different industrial sectors to meet and share radical new ideas.
The hub is kitted out with big screens for presentations and displays, touchscreen computers and tablets, plush furniture and work spaces.
Luca Corradi, innovation network director at OGTC, said the hub would accelerate the process of turning a concept into a field-ready product.
The facility will have virtual reality capabilities which will help “take the platform to the people”, giving outside industries an insight into the challenges faced offshore.
Other tools include 3D printing and patent information to show companies which inventions have already been invented.
OGTC will bring innovators and academics into the hub by organising a programme of events and activities.
Workshops will be set up to deal specifically with the challenges faced by OGTC’s network of members.
Invitations will be needed to attend some of the events, while others will be open to all companies who want to learn more about pioneering technology.
OGTC will also use the base to host visits by schoolchildren and students throughout the region.
It will provide them with insight into the sort of skills that will be required to work in the oil and gas industry of the future.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is expected to attend the unveiling of the hub in Aberdeen today.
Mr Corradi said: “The hub will be a catalyst for new thinking and new ideas, working in partnership with innovators and oil and gas companies to develop technology solutions for industry challenges.
“It uses the latest facilitation tools and techniques to harness creativity and turn ideas into actions.
“We look forward to working with schools and universities to create a programme to inspire a new generation of innovators.”
OGTC officially opened in February with £180million worth of backing from the Aberdeen City Region Deal.
The centre, which now has more than 40 members, has already approved more than £12million worth of investment in pioneering new technologies and is currently working on 21 projects.
It has five solution centres which are focused on asset integrity, well construction, small pools, decommissioning and digital.
The hub will sit at the heart of the OGTC and support the individual solution centres.
It will also boost the work of OGTC’s technology accelerator programme.
The scheme, called TechX, will help smaller technology developers take their solutions to market.
It aims to invest in 100 companies in 10 years, offer expert mentoring, access to facilities, field testing and funding with no equity or pay back required.
OGTC said it had worked with a range of north-east companies to create the hub, from its main construction partner, architects and quantity surveyor, to its technology installer and caterer.
eThe hub and its faciltiies, including meeting spaces, big screens, touch-screens and tablets, is aimed at generating ideas to boost creativity which could unlock remaining North Sea reserves
Academics, students and pupils will be invited to events at the hub