First Minister Nicola Sturgeon with Elisabeth Proust and Gillian Murray.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon visited Heriot-Watt University (HWU) in Edinburgh to mark the start of a new five-year partnership between oil giant Total and HWU’s Institute of Petroleum Engineering.
The agreement, estimated to be worth at least £2.5million, was signed by Total Exploration and Production UK managing director Elisabeth Proust and HWU business and enterprise deputy principal Gillian Murray.
It covers global research and development (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.
Total said it reflected its ongoing commitment to R&D at the university following more than two decades of partnership, and recognises the world-class research at HWU.
Ms Proust added: “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.”
Ms Murray said: “This is the latest development in a long-term and much valued partnership between Total and Heriot-Watt.
“Such partnerships and joint-ventures are key to the way the university operates and are of great value to development and the wider economy.”
Ms Sturgeon said it as “hugely encouraging” to hear about the positive impact the partnership would have for both the oil and gas sector and Scotland’s university system.
The first minister added: “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.”