Scotland’s First Minister Humza Yousaf has visited Smart Green Shipping’s ‘FastRig’ wingsail testing site in Dumfries to celebrate the £1.8m ($2.4m) funding provided by the Scottish Government. 

Smart Green Shipping began testing its sail product in March, but CEO Diane Gilpin said the visit exemplified the support the company gained by locating itself in Scotland. 

“There are no other countries that support innovative climate technology companies at an early stage like Scotland,” she said. 

“Scotland saw the potential for wind-assist to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions for shipping and I look forward to repaying that belief in us by taking our technology to the world and making a real difference.”

The First Minister, who is the equivalent to Prime Minister in the devolved government and parliament in Scotland, said the project and its government investment was emblematic of the way the country is aiming to achieve net zero. 

“Smart Green Shipping’s work on their impressive FastRig technology is typical of the type of economic opportunity the just transition to net-zero affords Scotland – as the ideal test bed for new, green technology. Investment and new technology like this will enable companies based here to seize those opportunities, and help innovative businesses like Smart Green Shipping grow and thrive, both at home and across the world,” he said.

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Diane Gilpin explained the possible use cases for the wind technology. Credit: Scottish Government

“By helping companies like Smart Green Shipping invest in innovation, we can drive growth, create jobs and increase productivity while driving the transition to net zero in the shipping sector,” Yousaf added. 

Scottish Enterprise is a non-departmental government body responsible for investing in Scottish start-ups that align with its policy goals. Its managing director Reuben Aitken explained how the relationship developed. 

“Scottish Enterprise’s new approach to working with companies includes our energy transition mission, which aims to accelerate technology innovation, supply chain capability and investment in manufacturing and key infrastructure. We first attracted Smart Green Shipping to Scotland at COP26,” he said.  

“Smart Green Shipping’s investment in Scotland is testament to the supportive environment we offer inward investors as we help businesses to innovate and scale to transform the economy,” Aitken added.