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The voice of the UK subsea industry

Subsea Research & Development Funding

led by

with support from

The project

In September 2017 Scottish Enterprise signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Nippon Foundation to operate a programme of projects identified through a series of calls to develop systems for the exploitation of ocean resources. A Joint Advisory Committee (JAC) has been created with members from Scottish Enterprise (SE), Nippon Foundation (NF) and Subsea UK.

This project will support the Scottish Subsea Supply Chain to innovate. The Programme will use a call based approach, focused on themes initiated in Japan, developed and announced by the JAC. Such an approach will assist in drawing out industry in their view of how to progress technology. There will be at least one call per annum.

Projects will be joint between universities and/or research institutes and companies of both countries. Investment of up to $10.0m (£7.4m) committed by the Nippon Foundation will be targeted at the Japanese elements of the project and SE funding of up to $10m (£7.4m) from SE R&D grant funding will be directed towards Scottish companies, subject to appraisal. Project applications will be assessed in line with SE’s standard processes and individual objectives will be identified at that stage.

The aim

Funding research and development activities in engineering and technology for the subsea industry.

Call 1

Theme 1: Innovation towards the subsea "Digital Oil Field"

To achieve a safer, more efficient production environment requires technology to be developed in the following areas:

• Real-time under-water communication, monitoring and control systems
• Advanced underwater inspection technologies, predictive maintenance and optimised repair
• Smart use and development of sensors, robotics, autonomous artificial intelligence and other digital technologies that will be key to achieving these goals.

Theme 2: Other innovation in the sector

Additional areas for technology innovation in subsea are also being sought to achieve transformational advances in:

• Well productivity and well intervention
• Improved well design and low-cost drilling
• Cost effective decommissioning/P&A
• Subsea factory and remote oil & gas monetisation
• Challenging environments such as HPHT and the Arctic

EOI (Expressions of Interest) are welcome with or without a Japanese R&D partner initially. There will be support in helping match with suitable Japanese partners at a later stage. Please note that funding will only be given to projects that include joint proposals from both Scottish and Japanese companies.

[Last updated Sept 2018]


Applications for Call 1 are now closed.

Call 2

Call 2 will open around October 2018. Please email if you would like to be notified when Call 2 opens.