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Oil and Gas Innovation Centre chairman Paul de LeeuwA new centre which aims to speed up the development of new technologies for the North Sea oil and gas industry will be formally launched by Energy Minister Fergus Ewing in Aberdeen tonight

The Oil and Gas Innovation Centre (OGIC) has been set up to work with small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to deliver innovative answers to the main challenges currently facing energy businesses working in the region.

Start-up funding of £10.6million was approved by the Scottish Funding Council earlier this year.

OGIC’s role is to work with oil and gas SMEs and universities to accelerate the new technologies needed to bring down operating costs, improve productivity and address innovation requirements in decommissioning.

It is hoped that it will help to find the right technology partners as well as funding to develop and test new ideas.

The new centre links around 2,300 oil and gas operators and service companies to universities and research institutes.