A new masters degree programme has been launched to drive forward innovation in the oil and gas industry following collaboration between the Oil & Gas Innovation Centre (OGIC) and Scottish universities.
The MSc in Oil & Gas Innovation will be available through seven Scottish universities from January 2016.
The research-led programme will focus on developing new technologies with UKCS applications in exploration, production and decommissioning and is aimed at individuals with industry experience or companies with innovative ideas that they wish to develop.
The Scottish Funding Council has committed to funding 30 candidates in the first year of the programme, which will be available as a one-year full-time degree or part-time over two or three years.
The need for the new MSc programme was identified following a gap analysis of the higher education innovation landscape undertaken by OGIC and Scottish universities in the autumn of 2014.
In the first instance it will be available through the University of Aberdeen, Robert Gordon University, University of the Highlands & Islands, University of St Andrews, Heriot Watt University, University of Strathclyde and Glasgow Caledonian University. Other institutions are expected to join the programme as it develops.
While primarily research-led, the programme will include modules on business innovation and technical modules related to the specific areas of research being pursued by candidates.
OGIC effectively links more than 2,500 oil and gas operators and service companies to 450 academic staff and researchers in Scotland working in oil and gas related areas.
Aberdeen University Professor Judith Masthoff, said: ““The oil and gas industry is a key part of Scotland’s economy, and it is vital that our universities use their abundant skills and expertise to ensure a long-term future for the industry, in what is an increasingly challenging global marketplace.
“Our universities play a major role in driving innovation in the sector, and the new MSc programme will build on this through the development of new technologies, and by training the next generation of industry leaders.”