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Scotland’s Digital Transformation Support Ecosystem – Enabling the Fourth Industrial Revolution

BP’s Technology Outlook 2018 outlines that “While the future of the energy system will be shaped by a wider variety of technology changes…one factor is common in driving transformation across energy production, processing and use-and that is digital innovation.” O&G Vision asked Julie Roberts, Digital Energy Lead for Scottish Enterprise what Digital Transformation Support Ecosystem exsists in Scotland enable the fourth industrial revolution.

Scotland is already being dubbed by leading academics as the “data capital of Europe” and is certainly true that, thanks to our key industries we have some of the best data in the world, not to mention world-leading academic research facilities and a vibrant community of digital enterpenurs.

As well as being a global centre for Financial Services and Health and Care (which sees Scotland’s  Digital Health Institute creating substantial economic growth), more than forty years of North Sea O&G exploration and production means that huge amounts of data continue to be collected, with data at the heart of the Digital Oilfield vision.

This vision requires innovation, visionary leaders and transformational change. Digital transformation needs companies to change their own ecosystem, creating enablers that support different business models, people & processes, skills, deeper innovation practises etc, but many of those changes may not be truly transformative if the wider environment is not suppportive to change. Creating a Digital Transformation Support Ecosytem in Scotland is a fundamental enbaler for its key markets.

Companies in Scotland can work in collaboration with a strategic infrastructure of enbler organisations that are shaping Scotland’s Digital Transformation support Ecosystem. A flavour of that ecosystem of particular interest to Energy companies includes:


Established with an £11.3 million grant from the Scottish Funding Council, a Scottish Enterprise partner, The Data Lab enables industry, public sector and world-class university researchers to innovate and develop new data science capabilities in a collaborative environment.

Bayes Centre

At the University of Edinburgh’s Bayes Centre, world-leading data science and artificial intelligence teams are shaping the future. Working with partners, and supported by Scottish Enterprise, Bayes is a proving ground for data-driven innovation to solve real-world problems through scientific enquiry, inspiring design and industrial collaboration. The centre brings together multi-disciplinary expertise from AI to Informatics and human-centred design along with world-class computing capability.


The trade body for Scotland’s vibrant digital economy, membership includes technology businesses across a wide range of sectors covering telecoms, software, IT services, infrastructure specialists and digital media companies, in addition to universities, public sector, financial services, energy industries and specialist providers.


CENSIS is the industry-led Innovation Centre for the economically important and highly diverse domain of Sensor and Imaging Systems (SIS) technologies and their applications, funded by the Scottish Funding Council with support from Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise. CENSIS technologies are spearheading developments in a whole host of markets from aerospace to healthcare, manufacturing to agriculture, and life sciences to subsea.

The Oil and Gas Innovation Centre (OGIC)

Another of the eight innovation centres supported by the Scottish Funding Council, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and Scottish Enterprise, OGIC brings top quality research and development expertise to the oil and gas industry’s innovation challenge,problem solving and the acceleration of new technology development. The organisation provides a single access point to the knowledge and capabilities of Scottish universities for the oil and gas industry


The ORCA Hub is an ambitious initiative that brings together internationally leading experts from five UK universities with over 30 industry partners. Led by the Edinburgh Centre for Robotics (Heriot-Watt University and University of Edinburgh), in collaboration with Imperial College London and the Universities of Oxford and Liverpool, this multi-disciplinary consortium brings its unique expertise in: Subsea, Ground and Aerial robotics; as well as human-machine interaction, innovative sensors for Non Destructive Evaluation and low-cost sensor networks; and asset management and certification.

The Oil and Gas Technology Centre (OGTC)

OGTC is an industry-led research and knowledge organisation, backed by both the UK and Scottish governments to fund and direct projects that help to unlock the full potential of the UK North Sea, with the aim of being the go-to technology centre for the oil and gas industry in the UK and internationally. OGTC Solution Centres, including Digital Transformation, identify and co-fund projects to develop and deploy new technology in the UK North Sea.

Scottish Enterprise

As well as playing a pivitol role in the wider Digital Transformation Support Ecosystem, Scottish Enterprise supports more than 10,000 buisnesses across Scotland to grow, innovate, internationlise and create high value jobs for the nation.

Through our Scottish Manufacturing Advisory Service (SMAS), new digital transformation enabling support is provided by our Manufacturing 4.0 Review. Working with the Scottish Enterprise Digital Transformation team, the expert advisors are already engaged with Energy majors helping create the factories of the future.

[Manufacturing 4.0 success stories in Scotland include: insert infographic]

The current and future skills aganda is fundamental to digital transformation, a country can’t fully support its key industries without the correctly skilled workforce. Scotland has the highest concentration of data science postgraduate courses in the UK, with Scottish Enterprise working across the academic spectrum and directly with employers to provide support for Digital skills through our partner Skills Development Scotland.

Skills Development Scotland are launching “Develop Your Digital Workforce”, a new one stop online shop to help you find the right funding and support. www.skillsdevelopmentscotland.co.uk SDS also worked with Scotland’s digital tech sector to create the Digital World initiative www.digitalworld.net, which promotes careers in the Digital Tech industries, with the aim of meeting increase demand in the jobs market to support the long-term tech industies in Scotland.

The thriving digital tech scene in Scotland, with the presence of the world’s leading data companies, is also fundamental to creating a digital transformation environment. Scotland is the UK’s most attractive location for foreign direct investment outisde of London. Scottish Enterprise’s Scottish Development International (SDI) has helped more than 5,000 inward investors realise their ambition in Scotland.

Scotland has an impressive history of entrepreneauship and innovation, seven high growth cities, globally renowned universities, a diverse talent base and is a great place to work live and invest. The Digital Transformation Support Ecosystem being created around our vital O&G sector is rich and in many aspects world-leading.

Scottish Enterprise and partners work across many sectors, supporting everything from entrepreneurship, to R&D, to business growth, as well as encouraging innovation in the wider ecosystem and being the catalystics for change and transformation – we must think like reolutionaries to start a revolution.

To find out more about the work of Scottish Enterprise including case studies and support available visit www.scottish-enterprise.co.uk to find out more.

Published: 10-09-2018

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