New agreement for the ‘Auld Alliance’
Low-carbon collaboration between Scotland and France is to be strengthened further after a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between Scotland’s floating wind cluster DeepWind and Wind’Occ, the regional offshore wind collaborative in the Région Occitanie.
The MoU between the two organisations will see both parties collaborate on floating offshore wind and hydrogen supply chain development in Scotland, Région Occitanie and internationally.
As part of the partnership, both clusters have agreed to champion floating offshore wind in their respective countries as well as jointly when the opportunity arises by:
- Encouraging and facilitating the exchange of knowledge between their members
- Promoting business opportunities for their members through ‘Meet the Buyer’ industry events
- Facilitating the emergence of a local floating wind and hydrogen industry by identifying complementary capabilities
- Promoting R&D opportunities at a local and European level
The agreement was signed today at an MoU Ceremony at the Floating Offshore Wind Turbines (FOWT) 2022 event – the annual meeting of the floating offshore wind sector community – in Montpellier. It was witnessed by Scottish Government Trade Minister Ivan McKee, who is in France on a two-day visit focusing on enhancing trade and investment links between the two countries.
Mr McKee said: “Development of offshore wind, the hydrogen economy and a strong and innovative supply chain are key to Scotland’s transition to net zero and will support our green economic recovery.
“This agreement is a great example of two organisations constructively working together to further mutual economic interests that are also shared by the Scottish Government. As set out in our National Strategy for Economic Transformation, we want to be a dynamic and innovative country, where we can attract international investment in research and the industries of the future, which will help us reach our climate targets.”
The DeepWind supply chain cluster is now the largest offshore wind representative body in Scotland with more than 700 members drawn from industry, academia and the public sector. The cluster specialises in fixed and floating offshore wind in deeper waters.
Paul O’Brien, DeepWind Cluster Manager said: “DeepWind welcomes the opportunity that this cooperation agreement with Wind’Occ opens up between Scotland and France to work towards a common goal in the areas of floating wind and hydrogen generation.
“The marriage of these two technologies will be one of the major decarbonisation routes for Europe and this MoU strengthens the already strong ties between the members of both clusters.”
Wind’Occ promotes the floating offshore wind industry in the Occitanie region of southern France. The organisation brings together companies, academics and local clusters (Cemater, Pole Mer Mediterranée) to support local offshore wind activities taking place, working closely with its regional economic development agency, AD’OCC.
Carole Delga, President of the Occitanie/ Pyrénées-Méditerranée Region, said: “Today, floating offshore wind energy is a sector with great potential, both in terms of energy and trade.
“France, like Scotland, is strongly committed to the development of floating offshore wind energy with 50 GW announced for 2050. In Occitania, we have been working for several years now to develop this sector of the future. It is currently a major axis of industrial development in our region and one of the essential means to increase the share of renewable energies in our over energy production.
“The partnership signed today between the Wind’Occ and DeepWind clusters will strengthen the collaboration between our respective sectors and will contribute to their joint development. It will also be an additional asset to ensure greater visibility of our wind industry on a European and international scale, which is essential to guarantee the sustainability and development of the sector.”
The Minister’s trip to France also includes meetings with French businesses with strategic interests in Scotland, regional institutions and members of the GlobalScot network. The visit was arranged by Scottish Development International’s team of trade and investment specialists based in France, along with the Scottish Government Hub in Paris and VisitScotland.
Scottish Development International (SDI) is the international arm of Scottish Enterprise, promoting Scotland as an ideal business location and supporting trade opportunities for Scottish firms in target markets across the world.
David Decrock, Country Director France at SDI, said: “France is Scotland’s second largest market for both global exports and inward investment, behind the United States, so it is an important strategic location for Scotland’s economy.
“SDI’s role is to make sure that we create the conditions to allow even greater cooperation between our respective companies, developing economic opportunities in the process.
“We are delighted that Mr McKee is visiting France to promote trade and investment links between Scotland and France and we look forward to building upon the strong commercial partnership the countries already share.”
Notes to editors
The image from left-to-right shows: Ivan McKee, Trade Minister, Scottish Government; Marie-Laure Barois, Co-Founder, Wind’Occ; Jalil Benabdillah, Vice-President of Occitanie with responsibility for Economy, Employment, Innovation and Reindustrialisation, and; Paul O’Brien, DeepWind Cluster Manager
About Scottish Development International
Scotland’s international trade and investment agency, Scottish Development International has offices in more than 30 locations in the world. These in-market specialists bang the drum for Scotland on a daily basis, delivering international economic opportunities for our communities. For more information, please visit: https://www.sdi.co.uk/
The DeepWind offshore wind supply chain cluster was created in April 2019 to support Scottish based companies to access opportunities linked to the significant pipeline of offshore wind projects in Scotland. The cluster boasts 38 offshore wind developers and two turbine manufacturers as part of its membership giving its other supply chain members unparalleled access to the top tiers of the industry. DeepWind specialises in floating wind as Scotland is set to become the largest commercial market in the world for this new technology. DeepWind has strong links to other international clusters and seeks to expand its international network for mutual benefit and collaboration. For more information, please visit: https://www.offshorewindscotland.org.uk/deepwind-cluster/
Supporting business development and boosting job creation, AD’OCC is the regional economic development agency in Occitanie, France. Missioned by the Occitanie Region, AD’OCC provides support for corporate projects of relocation, development or partnerships in Occitanie. For more information, please visit: https://www.agence-adocc.com/adocc-regional-economic-development-agency-occitanie-france/
Wind’Occ is a collective initiative for the floating offshore wind industry. The members of Wind’Occ are companies, academic actors, researchers and educational institutions in Occitania that are positioned or wish to position themselves in the offshore wind sector. Federating companies around offshore wind projects, giving visibility to affiliates, promoting the image of regional skills in France and internationally, and facilitating the detection and dissemination of projects: with Wind’Occ and the contribution of the Occitanie Region, its economic development agency AD’OCC, Cémater and the Pôle Mer Méditerranée, it is an economic sector dedicated to floating offshore wind energy that is being structured and asserted in the Occitanie Region. For more information, please visit: https://www.agence-adocc.com/windocc-eolien/
SOURCE: Scottish Enterprise