FIRST Minister Humza Yousaf has said Scotland is positioning itself as a world-leading nation as he opened the first dedicated innovation centre for floating offshore wind.

During a visit to Aberdeen, Yousaf said the centre was a major step to realising the country’s net zero ambitions.

The £9 million innovation centre, delivered by Offshore Renewable Energy (Ore) Catapult in collaboration with ETZ Limited, is designed to supercharge the development of floating offshore wind technology in the UK.

Funding for the world-first project has also been provided by the Scottish Government and Innovate UK.

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It is estimated the successful rollout will see floating offshore wind have the potential to deliver £43 billion in UK gross value add by 2050, creating more than 29,000 jobs.

Yousaf said: “Delivering our net zero ambitions will require economic and societal transformation, with sustained investment, both public and private, to achieve it.

“We know the scale of the change needed. The National Floating Wind Innovation Centre embodies the spirit of collaboration that will drive the offshore wind industry forward.”

He said it also “epitomises the relentless pursuit of science in helping to decarbonise our economy and represent a collective determination to solve the complex challenges posed by our net zero ambitions.

The National:

“We share a common objective to establish Scotland as a first mover in floating wind technology on an industrial scale and by seizing this advantage we can position Scotland among the world’s leaders in this ground-breaking industry as we maximise our net zero targets.”

Andrew Jamieson, chief executive of Ore Catapult, said: “This facility represents a ground-breaking step forward in the commercialisation of floating offshore wind – a sector that will be critical to meeting our net zero targets.

“When you look at the projected global market demand for floating wind technology over the coming year, the opportunity is eye-watering.”

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He added: “Here in the UK we are well-placed to play a leading role in that market by developing the supply chain to support the innovations that will bring this potential to life.

“Others are chasing the same prize, though, so the time is right to make sure Scottish and UK companies are at the front of that race, and this facility is a key part of helping that happen.”

The innovation centre will house an array of “cutting-edge” equipment, including a large-scale dynamic cable flex fatigue rig, an anchor test rig, a floating offshore wind scale motion simulator and a virtual reality studio to allow engineers to envisage scenarios and challenges.