Scottish Enterprise Industry Engagement Building to Become Catapult HQ
Scottish Enterprise’s new £10 million Industry Engagement Building, based at the heart of Scotland’s International Technology and Renewable Energy Zone (ITREZ) in Glasgow, is to become the headquarters for the new Technology Strategy Board funded Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult.
This news comes during a visit to the site by Scottish Enterprise senior director of technology and sector delivery, Neil Francis, to officially mark the start of construction and reveal artist impressions of the new five-storey building which received full planning permission in February this year.
Strategically positioned next to the University of Strathclyde’s Technology and Innovation Centre, which is home to academics from the University’s four faculties (science, engineering, business, humanities and social sciences), Scottish Enterprise’s new Industry Engagement Building will offer 5,000 m2 of Grade A flexible office accommodation for ambitious, innovative companies in the renewable energy sector.
The Industry Engagement Building, alongside the Technology and Innovation Centre, sets the foundation for Scotland’s flagship International Technology and Renewable Energy Zone which offers companies a breeding ground to harness cutting edge research, access the best people and develop products which will shape the renewable energy industry of tomorrow.
Capitalising on these benefits, the UK Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult will be perfectly placed at the heart of ITREZ, alongside the UK’s world-class research and innovation community for offshore wind, tidal and wave, as it aims to facilitate the commercialisation of innovative technologies that give maximum impact in the field of offshore renewable energy.
Scottish Enterprise senior director of technology and sector delivery, Neil Francis, said: “Today marks a significant milestone in our investment into Scotland’s business environment to support the growth of our globally competitive renewables sector. We’re delighted to welcome the UK’s Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult to our Industry Engagement Building and ITREZ, the R&D epicentre of Scotland’s renewables sector.
“Our new Industry Engagement Building, with its close proximity to the University of Strathclyde’s Technology and Innovation Centre and now also the headquarters for the UKs Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult, offers the perfect location for companies within the renewables energy sector to grow and flourish.
“This project also supports our efforts in providing much needed Grade A office space in our cities, which is vital to our continued success in attracting significant inward investment projects to Scotland”.
Energy, Enterprise and Tourism Minister Fergus Ewing added: “Scotland is a world leader in the development of offshore renewable technology. Major overseas companies such as Samsung, ABB, Alstom, E.ON and Vattenfall are already working with Scottish universities and energy and engineering firms to invest in the development of pioneering wind and marine energy technologies.
“The start of construction on the Industry Engagement Building is another milestone in establishing the infrastructure that will help us shape the future of renewable energy technology and innovation, not only in Scotland but internationally. Today’s event in Glasgow takes us another step towards the reindustrialisation of Scotland through capitalising on our renewable energy potential and expertise.”
Commenting on its decision to locate the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult at the Industry Engagement Building, Dr. Alan Lowdon, interim project director of the Catapult said: “The importance of clustering to support offshore renewable energy cannot be over-stated. The overall ITREZ concept and the creation of IEB, in particular, provide the means by which businesses can flourish through greater connectivity and knowledge sharing. Over time this will help to inform the market and, by doing so, reduce both the perceived and actual risk around offshore renewable energy systems.”
Professor Jim McDonald, principal of the University of Strathclyde, said: “Scotland has a tremendous opportunity to develop and drive the renewables sector over the next decade and beyond. The new Industry Engagement Building, alongside Strathclyde’s Technology and Innovation Centre, will build on our global reputation for advancing technology and research in this important field in close collaboration with Scottish and global companies.
“The successful, collaborative bid to bring the UK’s Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult to Glasgow underlines our city’s determination to create opportunities to drive investment and benefit businesses, institutions and people. This intense research and industry activity positions Scotland as a global hub for excellence in renewable technologies.”
Following a competitive tendering process, Paisley-based Morgan Sindall plc has been appointed to construct the building, which is scheduled for completion by July 2013.
Offshore WIND staff, May 18, 2012; Image: Scottish Enterprise