Orkney’s research and innovation post up for grabs

Experienced professionals with a wide range of skills in the UK energy sector have been invited to apply to the post of Chair of the new Orkney Research and Innovation Campus (ORIC).

Illustration (Photo: Alstom/EMEC)

Led jointly by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and Orkney Islands Council (OIC) – the campus will support the growth of existing research and innovation activity and the expansion of companies in Orkney’s marine renewables, energy and low carbon sector.

The partnership is looking for someone who will provide leadership to the ORIC Board for the three-year appointment which will involve a time commitment of up to 20 days per year, according to HIE.

Work is currently underway by the main contractor, Kirkwall-based R Clouston, to refurbish, update and extend the old Academy and former Stromness primary school buildings as well as improving roads, paths and landscaping.

HIE is investing £4.65 million in the campus project, including £1.48 million of European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) money. OIC is investing £2 million, including £0.5 million of Scottish Government Regeneration Funding, in addition to transferring ownership of the Old Academy and former Stromness primary school to the partnership.

The Old Academy is already home to the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC), Heriot Watt University’s International Centre for Island Technology, environmental consultants Aquatera and number of other businesses.

The project is expected to attract additional research activities to Orkney, both from the commercial and academic worlds with an interest in carrying out research projects in an island setting. This could include research linked to Orkney’s energy resources, transport needs, culture and economy, according to ORIC.

Graeme Harrison, HIE area manager in Orkney, said: “We look forward to recruiting a Chair for ORIC who will provide leadership for the research and innovation campus. We are currently working with the contractor and with OIC in bringing this important development to fruition.

“The center will support the growth of existing businesses and the creation of new ones as well as provide more opportunities to attract and retain young people to live, work and study.”

The deadline to apply for the position has been set for July 29, 2018.