Heriot-Watt University signs £2.5m partnership deal

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A university in Edinburgh has signed a multi-million pound partnership agreement with an oil and gas firm to boost research and education.

The five-year agreement between Heriot-Watt University and Total will be worth a minimum of £2.5m.

The partnership agreement covers global research and development.

It also includes sponsored PhD and post-doctoral studies, guest lectures and presentations, internships and scholarships.

Positive impact

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon visited the Edinburgh Campus of Heriot-Watt on Thursday, where the agreement was signed by Elisabeth Proust, managing director of Total E&P UK, and Dr Gillian Murray, deputy principal, business and enterprise, at the university.

Ms Sturgeon said: "Ensuring the future of Scotland's offshore industry is a key priority for this government and it is hugely encouraging to hear the positive impact this partnership will have for both the oil and gas sector and our university system.

"Not only will this provide an excellent opportunity to harness the technological advances Scotland's universities are so famed for, but it is also set to help ensure Scotland's oil and gas sector will continue to prosper for future generations."

The partnership will also cover seminars and training events, career, business and education forums and conferences and university and industry-based site visits.

Dr Murray said: "This is the latest development in a long-term and much-valued partnership between Total and Heriot-Watt University.

"Such partnerships and joint ventures are key to the way the university operates and are of great value to development and the wider economy.

"This partnership agreement covers education as well as research and development, underpinning the future success of the offshore oil and gas industry and the Scottish government's economic priorities."

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