UK-Assist is a "not-for-profit" organization established jointly by the UK Depart-ment of Trade & Industry and Scottish Enterprise (the national economic dev-elopment agency for Scotland) in 1999 under a contract with Industry Technology Facilitator, within whose offices UK-Assist is located.
There are two other organizations in the same building that were established under the UK's Pilot initiative. These are: Leading Oil and Gas Industry Competitiveness (Logic), and NOVA (a risk-sharing venture capitalist).
The primary role of UK-Assist is to be the energy industry expert within the UK National Contact Point network, providing an interface among the UK service and supply sector, the emerging offshore-based renewable energy sector, and the EC to promote new technology development, transfer of technology, and diversification. This is accomplished in a number of ways, such as:
•Maintaining a website providing infor-mation about EC Framework program opportunities and other sources of help and information (www.ukassist.com)
•Quarterly publication of the newsletter UK Assisting
•Publication of technical and market briefings that explain calls for proposals issued by the European Commission's Framework Program and provide information on other opportunities and developments in oil and gas renewable energy sectors.
Other activities include:
•Organizing workshops on EC calls to provide guidance or assistance to companies or organizations wishing to make applications
•Working closely with UK economic development agencies, local government departments, trade associations, and the EC
•Providing of advice on the suitability of ideas and proposals for specific elements of the EC Framework Program
•Facilitating industry, mainly small to med-ium enterprises, contact with other UK organizations, such as ITF, Logic, NOVA, and FPA.
UK-Assist works closely with Eurogif. Its manager attends all board and technical committee meetings and chairs the Eurogif General Affairs committee. It has good working relationships with all public-sector agencies involved in supporting the UK energy industries, as well as the oil and gas industry service and supply sector trade associations in the UK and across Europe.