Scottish Enterprise support accelerates £2.3m R&D Project
A new £2.3 million research and development project, which will create 3 new jobs in the oil and gas sector, has been brought forward by two years thanks to £1.1 million of support from Scottish Enterprise.
Artificial lift system specialists for the upstream oil and gas market, Zilift Limited, aims to drive down costs and enhance recovery rates in the oil and gas sector by developing a new innovative product based on its patented magnet technology. The new project has already attracted commercial interest from major oil and gas operators from North Sea, US, Africa, Middle East and Far East regions.
Impacted by the global downturn, the company faced delaying the development of its new product, SpeedDrive2625, by two years. Supported by Scottish Enterprise, the company is now back on track to deliver on time which will maximise growth opportunities, including increasing the company’s annual turnover by £24.5 million in the next 10 years.
Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy Paul Wheelhouse said: “I would like to congratulate Zilift on this ambitious R&D project and wish it well for the future. The announcement reinforces the important role our economic development agencies play in supporting the growth of Scotland’s economy.
“The Scottish Government is doing all it can to support the oil and gas sector during the current challenges it faces. In particular, the Energy Jobs Taskforce is focused on helping those affected by the downturn, but also on the longer term structural challenges to ensure our companies are even stronger and more resilient than before, boosting productivity, supporting exploration and innovation and therefore ensuring that the North Sea can enjoy a bright future. Additionally, the Transition Training Fund, launched in February, has now approved funding for over 1,200 individuals affected by the downturn - exceeding the 1,000 individuals the fund was designed to support in its first year of operation.”
This latest support from Scottish Enterprise builds on previous assistance to help grow the company including, a SMART: SCOTLAND R&D grant, market development support, business efficiency assistance, help to internationalise and Scottish Manufacturing Advisory Service (SMAS) support.
International sector head for oil and gas at Scottish Enterprise, David Rennie, said: “Oil and gas companies are continuing to face some very difficult decisions regarding investment. The slowdown in the sector means they don’t always have the necessary funds to invest in areas such as innovation; yet it is such investments which will make the most significant impact in the long term – increased efficiencies, productivity and above all competitiveness. That’s where we can help and I congratulate Zilift on their latest project, which has already attracted significant commercial interest.
“Zilift Ltd is a great example of an ambitious growing company which recognises the need to invest in innovation to ensure it remains competitive and can grow its international ambition. With our help, the company aims to grow its workforce to more than 26 people by 2018 and increase its annual turnover to £24.5 million by 2026. I wish the company every success as it embarks on this new project and look forward to supporting their continued growing ambition.”
Managing director of Zilift Ltd, Iain Maclean, added: “The artificial lift market is expected to grow to an estimated £21.8 billion by 2020 and we are well placed to capture a share of this. Our innovative technologies, skilled and talented staff and unprecedented support from Scottish Enterprise means we can begin work on our new technology earlier than we thought might be possible which will maximise our rewards in the long term.”
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