First Minister Nicola Sturgeon visited the University's Edinburgh Campus to mark the signing of a five year Partnership Agreement between Total and the Institute of Petroleum Engineering (IPE).
The agreement, which will be worth a minimum of £2.5m, was signed by Elisabeth Proust, Managing Director, Total E&P UK, and Dr Gillian Murray, Heriot-Watt Deputy Principal, Business and Enterprise.
The Agreement marks Total's ongoing commitment to Research and Development at Heriot-Watt, following over two decades of research partnership, and recognises the world-class research being undertaken at the University.
Ensuring the future of Scotland's offshore industry is a key priority for this government and it is hugely encouraging to hear the positive impact this partnership will have for both the oil and gas sector and our university system.
The Partnership Agreement covers global R&D and educational activities undertaken jointly by Total and Heriot-Watt, including sponsored PhD and post-doctoral studies, Guest Lectures and presentations, internships and scholarships, seminars and training events, career, business and education forums and conferences and University and industry-based site visits.
Nicola Sturgeon said, “Ensuring the future of Scotland's offshore industry is a key priority for this government and it is hugely encouraging to hear the positive impact this partnership will have for both the oil and gas sector and our university system.
“Not only will this provide an excellent opportunity to harness the technological advances Scotland's universities are so famed for, but it is also set to help ensure Scotland's oil and gas sector will continue to prosper for future generations.”
Elisabeth Proust said, “Total is proud to announce our five year partnership with Heriot-Watt University. Today's ceremony formally acknowledges and strengthens Total's long-term commitment to research conducted by leading academics at this world renowned University. It is vitally important for Total and Heriot-Watt to continue to work together to progress, develop and embrace new and innovative technology through research projects that will help define and shape the future of the offshore industry.
“We are delighted that the First Minister was able to come and see for herself not only the scale of our ambition but also some examples of the type of robotic technologies which will help the transformation of the oil and gas industry.”
Dr Gillian Murray said, “This is the latest development in a long-term and much valued partnership between Total and Heriot-Watt University. Such partnerships and joint ventures are key to the way the University operates and are of great value to development and the wider economy.
“This Partnership Agreement covers education as well as research and development, underpinning the future success of the offshore oil and gas industry and the Scottish Government's economic priorities. With this in mind we are particularly delighted that the First Minister was able to join us to celebrate the signing.”
Professor John Underhill, Chief Scientist and Chair of Exploration Geoscience and Academic Director of the NERC Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Oil & Gas, said: “The announcement of the new collaboration is not only a demonstration of the relevance, depth, breadth and strength of Heriot-Watt's research but also its applicability to the oil and gas industry. It is tremendous that a company with such a proud tradition, high esteem and global reach as Total should recognise Heriot-Watt as a preferred academic partner. This reflects well on the University in general and also on the excellence of our geoscience and petroleum research, based in the Institute of Petroleum Engineering (IPE).”
During their visits the First Minister and representatives of Total E&P UK met with key academics involved in Total-funded research, development and education, and toured high-tech laboratories and Centres at IPE, including the Centre of Enhanced Oil Recovery and CO2 Solutions and the Flow Assurance and Scale Team (FAST) laboratories, and discussed the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Oil & Gas.