Sifting of Proposals
The Consultative Group met on 10 March and considered the eight ideas put forward by industry and science providers. After discussion on all the ideas, the Group 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 Science (MSS) internal resources, or SISP funding. Some ideas will combine both MSS internal and SISP funding, through commercial vessel charters. The Steering Group also put a limit on the expenditure for each approved idea.
Four ideas were approved and accepted. Two of these can be put into action in 2009/10, the other two required further information from the proposers and it is likely that these ideas may run into 2010/11. The remaining four ideas were rejected for funding by SISP and the proposers were offered suggestions on how their projects could be progressed.
Of the four ideas to be put into action, two can be funded from Marine Scotland Science internal resources, although any commercial vessel charters will be tendered in the normal way, using SISP funding. The other two ideas cannot be addressed using MSS resources, and hence the full projects went out to tender during September 2009. A detailed specification of the work was made available and industry/science partnerships were invited to put in detailed bids for the work. Standard government procurement procedures were used to select the winning bid.
The individual projects are now up and running. Marine Scotland Science has appointed a liaison officer for each project to monitor progress and help the partnerships if required. Final reports will be produced on each project and these will be available in due course.