Scotland’s sub-sea expertise earns £15 million research fund to work with Japan



Funded by the Scottish Government via Scottish Enterprise and Subsea UK, in association with the Nippon Foundation, the research will focus on two major themes:

‘One of the programme’s two themes will be subsea digital oilfield technologies, including real-time underwater communication, inspection, monitoring and control, sensors, robotics and artificial intelligence. The second theme of subsea oil and gas innovation will focus on well productivity, intervention and design, low-cost drilling, decommissioning, subsea factory development, remote monetisation and developing challenging fields.’

Regular readers will know that Scottish expertise in oil, gas and renewable energy generation is now as valuable as the actual raw material resources in our seas. See these earlier reports:

Scotland’s expertise in renewable power generation now worth billions

Scotland’s oil and gas expertise earned £11.4 billion in 2015/2016 supported by Scottish Government investment

Scottish subsea expertise to the fore again

Almost a year ago, I could report that Scottish businesses were advising in more than 40 countries including the government of Japan, providing cranes to build wind farms in Morocco and South Africa and working with the World Bank in Chile.

Happy New Year Story: Scotland’s ‘renewable energy expertise’ in demand worldwide, says new research. At least 14 news agencies report it but BBC Scotland, STV?

I see the Herald did a quite good news story on the Joseph Rowntree Foundation findings on poverty in Scotland:

Maybe they’ll go large and generous on this one too? BBC Scotland News? Hmmm…not so sure.


10 thoughts on “Scotland’s sub-sea expertise earns £15 million research fund to work with Japan

  1. William Henderson December 7, 2017 / 3:09 pm

    Hello John,

    Aye, the good news just keeps on coming!

    As an aside, with a wee breeze blowing today, wind power is providing more than 20% of the total electricity needs of the whole of the UK – away more than nuclear and coal!!!


    • johnrobertson834 December 7, 2017 / 7:17 pm

      Thanks for the wind update. So that’s twice Scotland’s demand?


  2. Clydebuilt December 7, 2017 / 6:32 pm

    The Japanese were involved with Hasties Steering Gear (Greenock) way back 60’s or 70’s before long they were manufacturing their own steering gear and Hasties closed. Hope history doesn’t repeat itself. A similar thing happened at Boeing in Seattle, where the guests spent their days on the photocopying machines.

    Yesterday on John Beatties dinner time show he had a discussion with a BBC expert on Fake News and their plans to educate young people on how to recognise Fake news. John brought up that many of radio shortbreads listeners accuse the station of being biased. The expert waffled on fir a bit on the difference between Fake News And Biased News. . . . . It was waffle there is no difference. . . . .

    BBC Biased News = Fake news OR. BBC Biased Reporting = Fake news


  3. Alasdair Macdonald December 7, 2017 / 7:00 pm

    There is a long history of Scots being involved significantly in Japan.

    The most famous was David Glover of New Deer, who set up what became the Mitsubishi Corporation and the Kirin Brewery. It is thought by some that it was his life that was the basis of the Madam Butterfly story. The Scottish author, Alan Spence, wrote a novel, The Pure Land, based on Glover and his son. They lived in Hiroshima and the family home is very well patronised Japanese museum. His son committed harakiri as he looked down on the devastation of his city after the Atomic Bomb was dropped.

    The Japanese Whisky industry, of course, started in Scotland. The founder was a Glasgow University and he lodged with a family, married the daughter and they went to Japan where they founded the company. She outlived him by many years and was seen by all as the joint boss.

    Scots did a fair amount in medicine.

    Most of the Japanese lighthouses were designed and built by a Scottish engineer.

    Glover sent a number of Japanese students to Scotland to learn shipbuilding practices and this continued up till near World War 2. My father – a boilermaker – had a Japanese trainee in the 1920s.

    It is worth doing a bit of research about the Scotland/Japan connection.


    • Jon December 7, 2017 / 10:13 pm

      There have been articles on this in the National.


  4. Ludo Thierry December 7, 2017 / 7:01 pm

    Hi John – you mention the Herald coverage (quite fair) on the JRF report. The info has come through today re. the BBC funded (taxpayer funded more accurately) local democracy reporters’ scheme. (I realise ‘democracy’ and ‘BBC’ are terms that shouldn’t really be in the same sentence!). These funded reporters will have a particular remit to cover council and public meetings.

    Looks like the Herald/Times Group (Newsquest) are getting 4 (of the 21.5 total for Scotland) BBC funded reporters.

    The funded reporters have been awarded almost exclusively to the 3 big groups: Newsquest = 5, DC Thomson = 4, Trinity Mirror = 4, (and everybody’s favourite) Johnston Press = 7.5.
    The only hyperlocal appointment is with Shetland News online – who have been awarded a 0.5 post (which is good news for Shetland). (There is a further 0.5 post still to be allocated to Orkney).

    The bidding process seemed to be designed to block out any recently established hyperlocal/alternative groups (I’ve no idea whether eg Common Space applied – but the process would have worked against that sort of outfit – who’d have guessed?). As holdthefrontpage reported “In order to qualify, it is understood that applicants had to provide sets of accounts dating back several years, which may have deterred some recently-formed companies from bidding.”

    Ashley Highfield (massively salaried ultra britnat CEO at JP – oh – and a former Beeb exec) must be swigging back the champagne tonight having conned the taxpayer to fund 30.5 posts (7.5 in Scotland). Given the bidding process included the requirement to demonstrate financial stability as well as a track record of relevant journalism one would have anticipated JP to not even get out of the blocks. (We have to remember, however, with whom we are dealing – and that ‘normal’ rules don’t apply with the beeb and their britnat pals).

    Anyhoo – I’m sure Alex Salmond and Christen Ager-Hanssen will be able to deploy these taxpayer funded reporters at JP to good use in due course when the ‘revolution’ comes to pass there.
    I’m pleased for the various reporters who will be getting employment through the scheme – Will it improve coverage of local councils etc? – We’ll see. Clearly, the nascent hyperlocal and alternative journalism outfits have been squeezed right out of the process. (Same as it ever was).


  5. Ludo Thierry December 7, 2017 / 8:44 pm

    Hi all – oddly have found zero mention of the Beeb financed local democracy reporters scheme announcement on the beeb’s own website. Given they are handing over £8M annually to fund the scheme I thought it might warrant an article – maybe tomorrow. When the beeb did report the scheme back in Feb. they announced 20 posts for Scotland – so it looks as if the continued heavy scrutiny of the beeb in Scotland has resulted in a further 1.5 posts (which is something I suppose. The total for Scotland and UK is 150 posts – so well done John and Scotland’s alternative media for getting Scotland a substantially larger than population share % of the scheme – Certainly wouldn’t have happened without the intense and continuing scrutiny).

    The Colonel’s local govt travails continue. Noticed on the beeb South of Scotland page that an Independent cooncillor on Scottish Borders Council (Harry Scott of Galashiels) has felt compelled to resign from the Tory/Ind administration. By my reckoning that makes 2 Independents who have resigned from the Tory/Ind admin in Angus, 1 Tory resigned from Tory led admin in Moray (and resigned from Tory group and Tory party also – identifying the group as right wing extremists) and an Independent cooncillor also resigned from Moray admin as well as Harry in the Borders.

    As SuperMac would have put it “Events dear Colonel, events!”.

    Liked by 2 people

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