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NEWS & INSIGHTS | article

NZTC and NMIS join ETZ to deliver Scotland’s first energy incubator

12 July 2023 6 minute read

ETZ Ltd partners with Net Zero Technology Centre and National Manufacturing Institute Scotland to deliver the country’s first energy incubator & scale up hub.

Leading technology development and research facilities joins ETZ Ltd, Scottish Government, bp and Scottish Enterprise in supporting facility to back supply chain expansion and deliver a cutting-edge innovation centre.

ETZ Ltd, the not-for-profit company tasked with spearheading North East Scotland’s energy transition ambition, has partnered with the Net Zero Technology Centre (NZTC) and the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland (NMIS) to deliver Scotland’s first Energy Incubator and Scale Up Hub (EISH).

The £6.5 million 3000sqm facility will support supply chain expansion and deliver a ‘cutting-edge innovation ecosystem’ as the focal point of the Innovation Campus, one of five specialist campuses being developed across Aberdeen’s Energy Transition Zone which will become the largest dedicated energy transition complex in Scotland.

Located at Hareness Road in Altens Industrial Estate, the hub will comprise of flexible industrial and collaboration space that will foster manufacturing, supply chain company building, technology research and development and commercialisation, alongside targeted business support to drive entrepreneurship, innovation and growth. Subject to planning permission, its opening is expected to be in late 2024.

As Delivery Partners for EISH, both NZTC and NMIS will join Founding Partners bp and Scottish Enterprise along with ETZ Ltd in a unique collaboration to provide early stage and scaling companies involved in innovative green energy technology solutions with a comprehensive package of advice and support to help them accelerate the journey to get their products to market.

NZTC will provide financial support towards the hub’s operating expenses and will assist TechX accelerator start-up graduates who require industrial and collaborative work space in the hub. NZTC and partners will provide the hub’s SME tenants with support to grow their businesses and be part of an environment where they can engage and collaborate with peers, SMEs and larger companies, universities and investors involved in accelerating the drive to net zero.

NMIS will establish an outreach centre as part of EISH and will link companies based in the incubator, providing them with manufacturing advice and support. There will also be a workshop available for use by NMIS and tenants.

ETZ Ltd has received £1.25m from bp and £2m support from Scotland’s national economic development agency Scottish Enterprise to begin construction of the hub and the remaining £3.25m of the capital funding for the project will be supported through the Scottish Government’s Energy Transition Fund.

Gillian Martin, Scottish Government Minister for Energy and the Environment, said:

“This government is investing almost £5 billion in the net zero energy economy in Scotland over this parliamentary term. One of our vehicles for supporting a fair and just transition for the North East’s oil and gas economy to net zero is the £75m Energy Transition Fund. This investment is helping the region attract private investment in the energy transition and maximise the economic opportunities offered by the low-carbon and renewable energy sector.

“Scotland’s first Energy Incubator and Scale Up Hub is an excellent example of this action, with the public and private sector working together to accelerate the growth of start-up companies working in the green energy space. I look forward to seeing work progress towards next year’s launch date and welcome the new partners – NZTC and NMIS – who have come on board.”

Maggie McGinlay, Chief Executive, ETZ Ltd, said:

“Innovation lies at the heart of the energy transition and the Energy Incubator and Scale Up Hub will enable us to expand our vital energy supply chain which is why EISH is integral to the Innovation Campus within the Energy Transition Zone.

“The involvement of NZTC and NMIS together with the support from the Scottish Government, bp and Scottish Enterprise for this major project demonstrates how important collaboration between industry and government is in driving the energy transition with the ultimate goal being to create sustainable jobs and company growth.

“Aberdeen has always been renowned for its entrepreneurial focus in energy – home to the largest concentration of energy supply chain companies in the UK – and this centre will ensure we continue to support innovation and technology as we move into green energy solutions.

Mark Anderson, Chief Acceleration Officer & TechX Director, said:

“The start-ups we support through NZTC’s TechX Accelerator programme play a pivotal role in accelerating the energy transition, offering new ideas, disruptive technologies and an entrepreneurial spirit. Access to workshop and collaborative co-working space in the new hub will further help these and other start-ups to scale, by accelerating technology development and investment, and leveraging Aberdeen’s extensive energy ecosystem, vital for their growth and continued success.

“This dedicated facility further bolsters the North East of Scotland’s reputation as a region of energy innovation and entrepreneurship, and we can’t wait to see the catalysing effect on the companies involved and on the ecosystem as a whole.”

Professor Sir Jim McDonald, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Strathclyde and Chair of NMIS, said:

“As a leading international technological University, Strathclyde is committed to applying its knowledge and research to the achievement of net zero, driving economic opportunity through new green industries and working with business and public sector partners to accelerate investment in decarbonised energy systems.

“As the operator of NMIS we are excited to be to working with industry partners on the Energy Incubator and Scale-Up Hub and bringing our expertise in research, innovation and skills development to the Energy Transition Zone.”

Chris Courtney, CEO of the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland (NMIS) said:

“We are delighted to enter into this partnership with ETZ Ltd, NZTC, BP and Scottish Enterprise to help incubate and grow ambitious and innovative companies that will create new products and services to drive the energy transition. Through our extensive experience in collaborative innovation and strong entrepreneurial approach, we can help companies develop their ideas, create networks, and access new markets for their products. Together we can build on the solid industrial heritage in Aberdeen and the northeast and grow new companies to drive the move towards renewable energy in Scotland, the UK and beyond.” 

Doris Reiter, Senior Vice President North Sea, bp, said:

“ETZ’s EISH will provide a vital platform supporting pioneering technology and expertise to accelerate the energy transition.  Building on our partnership with the city council to help Aberdeen become a climate positive city, bp is proud to be a founding partner of this exciting project and welcomes the deep knowledge and industry insights NZTC and NMIS bring, further strengthening the collaboration that is at its centre.”

David Rennie, Head of Low Carbon Energy at Scottish Enterprise, said:

“The welcome addition of the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland and the Net Zero Technology Centre to the mix of the Energy Transition Zone scale up hub further highlights the strength and unity of Scotland’s innovation ecosystem.

“Scottish Enterprise is a key partner of NMIS and the NZTC and to have this manufacturing and technology expertise available for companies emerging from the EISH in future is a fantastic asset for the north east, for Scotland and for our green energy ambition.”

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