Statoil Technology Invest and Scottish Enterprise have formed a strategic partnership to encourage small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) in Scotland to invest in R&D and technology development.
Richard Erskine, head of Statoil Technology Invest, and Scottish Enterprise chief executive Lena Wilson signed the Memorandum of Understanding in Edinburgh today, Thursday 26 June. John Swinney, Cabinet secretary for Finance, Employment and Sustainable Growth in the Scottish Government, witnessed the signing of the agreement.
Statoil Technology Invest is a subsidiary established to support and help develop companies in an early stage to mature technology which Statoil and the industry can use to solve future challenges. The support can be in the form of technical and financial guidance as well as project based or venture capital funding.
Scottish Enterprise is a non-departmental public body of the Scottish Government which encourages economic development, enterprise, innovation and investment in business. The MoU with Statoil is the first strategic partnership in a new scheme to stimulate innovation and research and development in Scotland.
“Statoil is always looking for new technologies to find more oil, increase production, or improve operational efficiency,” says Richard Erskine, head of Statoil technology Invest.
“Scotland has a strong tradition in developing new oil and gas technologies and we believe this partnership with Scottish Enterprise will enable us to more effectively work with small technology companies to commercialise and implement their ideas.”
Gunnar Breivik, managing director for Statoil Production UK, also welcomed the agreement.
“We are stepping up our activities on the UK Continental Shelf. After establishing ourselves in Aberdeen, we have been able to witness the inventiveness of the local industry cluster at close range. Hopefully this collaboration can stimulate ideas and cost effective technologies that meet challenges both locally and globally,” he says.
Statoil Technology Invest will, during 2014, invest about NOK 150 million of venture capital in early stage technology companies. The last five years NOK 780 million have been invested in companies to develop technology that can create value in Statoil’s operations. In over 90 % of the venture portfolio companies Statoil has already made or plan to make direct use of their technology in operations and projects. It is an active portfolio with two exits so far this year. Statoil’s technology strategy has identified four areas as particularly important: seismic imaging, increased oil recovery (IOR) and reservoir characterisation, subsea technology and drilling and well technology, as well as technology addressing safety, environment and the climate challenge.