Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Billionaire US firm wins Scottish Government R&D support

Post Thumbnail

Part of a £10million government fund set aside for oil and gas research and development (R&D) projects in Scotland has been handed to a firm led by two American billionaires, it has emerged.

Recently Scottish Enterprise awarded a grant of £431,000 to Howden Compressors, which it said has found trading to be “increasingly challenging due the global oil and gas market downturn”.

The Renfrewshire-based company is owned by Colfax Corporation, a US conglomerate worth an estimated $4.5billion (£3.7billion). The New York Stock Exchange-listed company was founded by billionaire brothers Mitchell and Steven Rales.

Colfax acquired the UK-based Howden as part of a £1.5billion deal to buy its parent company Charter International in 2012.

Scottish Enterprise said the grant would assist a £1.2million project to develop and expand Howden’s range of oil-free screw compressors. The firm employs 350 staff at its Renfrew manufacturing facility.

The choice of grant recipients raised questions over whether Scottish Enterprise was wise to hand public money to vast international companies.

Alexander Burnett, Scottish Conservative energy spokesman, said: “Investment is research and development is vital for any industry, not least for the oil and gas sector given the recent downturn.

“It is equally important, however, that public money is spent wisely.

“There are a host of innovative small to medium sized companies in the energy industry – and in the Aberdeen area in particular – who could benefit from this type of funding.

“Taxpayers will rightly wonder why some of these multi-nationals need a helping hand from government when other smaller firms are struggling.”

Last year Scottish Enterprise pledged £10million in grant funding to help more oil and gas and supply chain companies invest in R&D in the wake of the collapse in oil prices.

It said 70 projects have been supported since February, which have attracted a further £16million investment from the companies. Of these, 84% were small to medium sized businesses, the body said.

Projects also included a £434,126 grant to OneSubsea, a division of Houston-based oil field services giant Schlumberger. The funding backed a £1.8million R&D project that created five new jobs and safeguarded a further 35 roles in Aberdeen.

Meanwhile, another firm based in Scotland and backed by major international private equity firms won a £1.1million grant for development of a new pump system based on patented magnet technology. Zilift estimated costs for the research at £2.3million in a project creating three new jobs in Aberdeen. Scottish Enterprise said the product would have faced a two year delay without the funding boost.

Zilift was established in 2009 and is backed by a consortium of six private equity investors including the venture arm of state-backed oil and gas giant, Saudi Aramco.

Adrian Gillespie, managing director at Scottish Enterprise, said: “Without our investment these vital projects would not have happened in Scotland.

“Our grants help win these projects for Scotland, anchoring them here and creating sustainable jobs in the process.

“The oil and gas industry recognises that business innovation will play a critical part in the sector’s global recovery.

“Last year, 84% of innovation projects we supported were with SMEs.

“With larger companies that are part of a global group, these R&D projects are often globally mobile, with Scotland competing with other countries to win the project.”

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]