Scotland and the U.S. strengthen business tiesStaff writer ▼ | May 7, 2014
During this year's Scotland Week Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond announced a number of Regional Selective Assistance (RSA) grants, totaling approximately $14 million, to five U.S. corporations across the financial services, oil and gas, technology and clean tech industries.
Recipients of the RSA grants included financial services firms, Ceridian Corporation, Portfolio Recovery Associates and Arthur J Gallagher & Company. American oil and gas multinational, National Oilwell Varco and optical components manufacturer, Kaiam Corporation, were also awarded grants.
RSA is a discretionary grant scheme which provides support to eligible Scottish and foreign companies looking to expand their operations in Scotland, with the goal of enhancing the global competitiveness of its economy.
Lena Wilson, chief executive of Scotland's main economic development agency, Scottish Enterprise, accompanied the First Minister on his visit. Ms. Wilson said: "I am delighted that we are able to support the growth of U.S. companies in Scotland, for the mutual benefit of both our economies. These grants support significant investment from the companies themselves, which is testament to Scotland's attractiveness as a platform to sustain and accelerate growth in Europe."
During Scotland Week, SDI and the Scottish Government also announced the opening of the first U.S. office of Scottish renewable energy company, Smarter Grid Solutions. Based in New York, Smarter Grid Solutions will offer U.S. organizations further access to the renewables experience, expertise and technologies for which Scotland is recognized globally as an industry leader.
Scotland's energy sector is well-established and highly competitive, with more than 45 years' experience in offshore technologies and around 2000 energy companies currently in operation in the country, placing it in a strong position to lead the world's diversification into renewables.
Ms. Wilson adds: "Both the U.S. and Scotland have emphasized the need for investment in climate change resilience and domestic energy production that will enable their respective industries to quickly develop sustainable solutions. As Scotland continues to pursue renewable energy generation targets equivalent to 100% of electricity consumption by 2020, we are proud to play a role in the renewable energy efforts of the U.S. through shared expertise, resources and technology." ■