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Orkney Research and Innovation Campus

Supporting the growth of Orkney’s world-leading marine renewables, energy and low carbon sector

ORIC History

The Orkney Research and Innovation Campus (ORIC) is a joint venture between HIE and Orkney Islands Council (OIC). The 3.75-acre campus will support the growth of existing research and innovation activity and the expansion of companies in Orkney’s world-leading marine renewables, energy and low carbon sector. It will also attract additional research activities to Orkney, both from the commercial and academic worlds.

A £5.39m construction contract was awarded to Kirkwall based R Clouston Limited for the development of the new Research and Innovation Campus.

Work included refurbishing, updating and extending the Old Academy and former Stromness Primary School buildings as well as improving roads, paths and landscaping.

We are investing £4.65m in the campus project, including £1.48m of European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) money. Orkney Islands Council is investing £2m including £0.5m of Scottish Government Regeneration Funding, in addition to transferring ownership of the Old Academy and former Stromness Primary School to the partnership.

The Old Academy is already home to the European Marine Energy Centre, Heriot Watt University’s International Centre for Island Technology, environmental consultants Aquatera and a number of other businesses.

The aim is to attract more academic institutions and businesses with an interest in carrying out research projects in an island setting. This could include research linked to Orkney’s energy resources, transport needs, culture and economy.

This significant investment will support the growth of existing businesses and the creation of new ones. Crucially, it will provide more opportunities to attract and retain young people looking to live, work and study in Orkney.

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The centre will support the growth of existing businesses and the creation of new ones as well as provide more opportunities to attract and retain young people to live, work and study.
Graeme Harrison, Orkney Area Manager, HIE

Campus Principles

Principles behind the creation of the campus stated that it should:

  • Foster close interaction between business, education, public sector and local community
  • Be at the heart of a global business and academic network
  • Provide a quality working environment for businesses, students and researchers; capitalising on recent digital communication enhancements
  • Be immediately attractive to inward investors and academic leaders
  • Complement the traditions, values and branding of Orkney and the historic townscape of Stromness.