Sifting of Proposals
The Consultative Group met on 19 February and considered the 10 ideas proposed by industry and science providers. After the Group had given their views and advice on the ideas, they assigned priorities to each. This information, together with the key comments, was passed to the Steering Group who decided which ideas would be followed through, with either Marine Scotland internal resources, or SISP funding. Some ideas will combine both Marine Scotland internal and SISP funding, through commercial vessel charters. The Steering Group also agreed a limit on the expenditure for each approved idea.
Seven ideas were approved and accepted to be put into action in 2008/09. The remaining three ideas were rejected for funding by SISP and the proposers were offered suggestions on how their projects could be progressed.
Of the seven ideas to be put into action, six can be funded from Marine Scotland internal resources although any commercial vessel charters will be tendered in the normal way, using SISP funding. The seventh idea cannot be addressed using Marine Scotland resources, and the full project was put out to tender in April. A detailed specification of the work was made available and industry/science partnerships are invited to put in detailed bids for the work. Standard government procurement procedures will be used to select the winning bid.
The individual projects are now up and running. For three of the projects, Marine Scotland has appointed a liaison officer to monitor progress and help the partnerships if required. Four of the ideas relate to the SG Conservation Credits scheme and these projects will be monitored by a small team comprising representatives from the Scottish whitefish and Nephrops industries together with Marine Scotland staff. Final reports will be produced on the projects and these will be available in due course.