Record Presence At International Energy Show From Highland
20th May 2012
Largest ever regional presence for Highlands and Islands at international energy show.
The Highlands and Islands of Scotland will once again have the largest regional presence at the All Energy exhibition and conference in Aberdeen this week (Wednesday 23rd and Thursday 24th May 2012).
Seventy six companies are to come together under the banner of HI-Energy to showcase the region's world-leading renewable energy expertise and supply chain capabilities. The HI-energy zone is made up of exhibitors from across the Highlands and Islands and includes regional pavilions from Orkney, Shetland, Caithness and Argyll.
Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) manages the over-arching HI-Energy pavilion on behalf of the region's energy industry to ensure the area's extensive renewable energy offerings are promoted, including its leading role in offshore renewables, experienced supply chain and world-class facilities.
The last three years have seen a record number of Highlands and Islands companies taking part, but with an increase of almost 60% since 2009, HIE says this is an indication of the importance of the industry to the Highlands and Islands and Scotland as a whole.
HIE's Director of Energy and Low Carbon, Calum Davidson said:
"All Energy is one of the most important events of the year for us and our companies. Every year we have a record number of businesses that join us and this year is no exception. The Highlands and Islands is known to be leading the world in the development of wave and tidal energy, and the skills and experience of our companies are sought after around the world.
"The announcement of the five Enterprise Area sites and Nigg Energy Park receiving Enterprise Zone status, the establishment of the Nigg Skills Academy, EMEC reaching full capacity at its wave and tidal test sites, significant progress in offshore wind projects on our east and west coasts, and major investment in infrastructure across the region all make this a particularly exciting year. We have a huge number of companies who are at the forefront of energy research, development and supply chain expertise and this is recognised internationally."
As part of the two-day exhibition, HIE is holding a networking event at the end of the first day, which will give exhibitors the opportunity to invite potential and existing clients to meet the wider Highlands and Islands supply chain.
The Highlands and Islands' leading role in the renewables sector will be woven throughout the two-day conference, and senior representatives from HIE will deliver key notes. Mr Davidson will update the conference on the region's marine energy progress in the Pentland Firth and Orkney waters, and will also contribute to wider discussions on the role of marine energy parks throughout the UK. Also presenting at the conference is HIE's Chief Executive Alex Paterson on the offshore wind supply chain and HIE Board member Steve Thomson on 'energy islands'.
Young people in Caithness and Lochaber will be among the first in Scotland to benefit from new Norwegian style learning centres. The centres are aimed at helping young people pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, maths and digital (STEMD).
Ten wave energy development projects have been awarded a total of £3 million by Wave Energy Scotland. The projects, devised by individual companies and partnerships, will explore the potential of different materials and processes in the production of wave energy converters (WECs); devices that convert ocean waves into electricity.
Plans for a multi-million pound research and innovation campus in Stromness in Orkney are set to go ahead after the two organisations behind the venture agreed funding for the project. The 3.75-acre campus will support the growth of existing research and innovation activity and the expansion of companies in Orkney's world-leading marine renewables, energy and low carbon sector.
The latest findings of the Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) Business Panel survey have been published (Tuesday 20 December). A total of 1,004 businesses throughout the region took part in the survey between 29 September and 3 November.
The level of income required to afford a socially acceptable standard of living and to participate in society is ten to thirty per cent more expensive in remote rural Scotland than elsewhere in the UK. The report on Minimum Income Standard for Remote Rural Scotland 2016, published today (Wednesday 30 November), was commissioned by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), Scottish Enterprise (SE), the Rural and Islands Housing Association Forum (RIHAF) and the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations (SFHA).
The chairman of Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) has said he is fully confident about the future of the organisation. Responding to reports this week, speculating about the agencies future following the Scottish Government's review of enterprise and skills bodies, Professor Lorne Crerar, said he had had absolute reassurance from Scottish Government that HIE will continue in its present form.
Leader of The Highland Council, Cllr Margaret Davidson is seeking clarification from Depute First Minister John Swinney about reports claiming that the Board of Highlands and Islands Enterprise is to be scrapped and replaced with a centralised committee. Councillor Davidson said: "If it is correct - it is totally unacceptable that the Scottish Government is to centralise the decision-making powers of Highlands and Islands Enterprise.
The Highlands and Islands will see more fibre broadband coverage for homes and businesses into 2017, thanks to the early success of the region's Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband (DSSB) project. Fergus Ewing, Cabinet Secretary for the rural economy and connectivity, announced today (31 October) that strong take up figures mean that an additional £2.3m is being re-invested back into the project.
Community and independently owned shops selling groceries in remote and rural parts of the Highlands and Islands are being asked to take part in a survey into the role they play in sustaining communities. The survey will help understand the factors affecting rural shops, and the strategies that could be adopted to remain sustainable and adapt to changing market conditions.
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