THE OIL & Gas Innovation Centre (OGIC), an organisation that matches companies with research and development capabilities in Scotland’s university community, has invested £230,000 in four projects in the oil and gas industry.

All of the projects will see the companies develop technologies that can be used in a variety of ways in the offshore sector.

OGIC chief executive Ian Phillips said the deals were “testament to the industry’s willingness to seek innovative solutions to the challenges currently being faced by companies operating in the UK Continental Shelf”.

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“Our four most recent projects all focus on very different aspects of the industry but each has the potential to have a major impact on offshore operations,” he added.

Heriot-Watt University and the University of Strathclyde have signed up to two projects each, with the former partnering subsea technology company Exnics and clothing business Iron Ocean while the latter has joined forces with Core Specialist Services (CSS) and Hydrophilic as well as Subsea Deployment Systems.

The Exnics project will harness the heat from subsea pipelines and convert it into electrical power while the Iron Ocean one will see the development of clothing designed to improve the chances of survival in the event of offshore workers being submerged in the sea.

The CSS-Hydrophilic project is to develop a pressure probe for estimating the depth of oil before having to drill and the Subsea Deployment Systems one will look at how to install large subsea structures without the use of a heavy lifting vessel.

OGIC has now co-funded a total of 31 projects valued at almost £2 million and is currently looking into the prospect of backing a further 50.

These are all also related to exploration and production, and would see OGIC collaborate with a range of UK as well as international businesses ranging from micro start-ups to major supply chain companies,