Industry Heavy-weights Join NSRI Board as the Race to Develop New Technology Heats Up

Melfort Campbell and Martin Jones have been appointed to strengthen the board of the National Subsea Research Initiative (NSRI).

With impressive pedigrees in innovation and technology in the subsea industry, these new board members will help NSRI deliver its aim of bringing new technology to market that will reduce costs and deliver efficiencies and help the UK subsea sector maintain its world-leading position. 

NSRI is the focal point for research and development in the UK’s subsea sector, which is worth £9billion to the economy. With a uniquely industry-led approach, NSRI knows and understands exactly what technology is required and then advises and support businesses, technology developers, universities and academics in bringing new innovations which meet industry demand to market.

Gordon Drummond, NSRI project director said: "NSRI meets the genuine need for meaningful engagement between industry, government and academia and it is crucial that our team has experience in developing technology and an understanding of the intricacies involved in funding such work. Melfort and Martin bring further expertise to a board which already represents some of the best and most experienced minds in the subsea industry.”

Commenting on his appointment, Mr Campbell said: "I am a strong advocate of promoting and linking business to academic and scientific research in a way that adds economic value. Developing the next wave of new science and technology to increase subsea oil and gas production is key to the sustainability of the global oil and gas industry and to keeping the UK at the forefront of subsea. But at sub $50 oil, it is now absolutely critical. We must find better, safer and more economically viable means of extracting reserves from increasingly complex, remote and hostile fields.”

One of the most high profile members of the Scottish oil and gas industry and a champion for new technology development, Melfort Campbell is Chair of the Oil and Gas Expert Commission, set up by the Scottish Government and co-chair of Innovation Scotland Forum.  He is also involved in the Business Universities Task Force and a visiting Professor at Strathclyde University. His previous roles include Chair of the Board of Governors of the Robert Gordon University and a member of the PILOT steering group on technology leadership.
His original venture - Water Weights, was established in 1985, and now forms part of Imes Group, employing over 240 staff with an annual turnover of £17 million.

Mr Jones added: "There has never been a more important time for the UK oil and gas industry to look at new technologies to reduce extraction costs and improve efficiency in a safe and sustainable way.  We have a wealth of creative engineering talent in our universities and small businesses and forging effective links between this technology power house and the specific challenges faced by the oil and gas operators in a tough financial market is a role NSRI is well placed to fulfil.”

Martin Jones is chief executive of Magma Global Ltd, which he founded in 2010 to manufacture high quality carbon fibre pipe for subsea exploration and production. In 1991, Mr Jones founded Ad Valorem, a specialist consultancy providing financial services, regulatory advice and corrective action, which was acquired by Money Extra. He went on to found Insensys in 2002, developing and commercialising fibre optic strain sensing for wind energy, aerospace and oil and gas applications. He sold the oil and gas division to Schlumberger in 2007 and the Wind Energy and Aerospace divisions to Moog Corporation in 2009. The inventor of 12 granted patents, Mr Jones is also the founder and Chairman of M-Flow and Chairman of Magma Structures which has recently delivered the world’s largest ever yacht masts. 

Peter Blake of Chevron chairs the NSRI board whose other members are Neil Gordon - Subsea UK, Paul White – GE Oil & Gas, Paul Charlton - PDL Solutions, Jason Tisdall – Fugro, John Mair and Stuart MacKinven of Scottish Enterprise.

Initial three-year funding for the NSRI, which is a not-for-profit organisation, has been secured from Scottish Enterprise, Subsea UK and industry with further industry funding expected.