Energy company Equinor has become the first platinum sponsor of Aberdeen Science Centre, as part of a three-year partnership to support STEM education and the digital transformation.
The centre is currently undergoing a multi-million pound redevelopment project which will see the creation of a state-of-the-art science centre which reflects the key priorities of the STEM agenda for both industry and education.
Aberdeen Science Centre has relocated to a temporary home at 107 George Street, Aberdeen, while the work is being carried out, allowing visitors to continue to enjoy interactive exhibits, inspiring activities and topical science events.
Equinor’s six-figure sponsorship agreement includes supporting the current Code Factory programme, which aims to engage young people in coding, programming and virtual reality and support building these critical skills early.
The deal also sees the company sponsoring Robothespian,which builds excitement around robotics and a future that is even more robotised, automated and connected.
Equinor has several STEM and coding initiatives with science museums in Norway, including the development of a website to engage youngsters and develop their interest in coding, and this further builds on its support.
Hedda Felin, Senior Vice President, UK and Ireland Offshore at Equinor, said: “This year is significant for Equinor as it marks the start-up of the Mariner field, a digital front runner, which will produce to 2050 and beyond. We are proud to work in partnership with the Aberdeen Science Centre to build excitement and capabilities in STEM.
Digitalisation is increasingly important both for society and for the energy industry to continue to enhance safety, become more carbon efficient and transition to a low carbon future. As digital futures partner of the Aberdeen Science Centre,we aim to build understanding of digitalisation.”
She added: “Our sponsorship underscores our long-term commitment to the UK and is an important step as we further our support for STEM through Aberdeen Science Centre.”
Liz Hodge, chief executive of Aberdeen Science Centre, said: “We are honoured to welcome Equinor on board as our first platinum sponsor and are delighted to have the team’s continued support.
“Meaningful engagement with the energy industry such as the partnership we have with Equinor allows us to bring new and exciting displays and interactive exhibits to Aberdeen Science Centre,while reinforcing our aim of combining learning with play and encouraging an interest in science, technology, engineering and maths.
“We are grateful to Equinor for their support of Aberdeen Science Centre as we evolve into a transformed centre people in the North-east can be proud of.”
Work is underway at the old granite Tramsheds on Constitution Street, formerly known as Satrosphere.
The multi-million-pound redevelopment will revitalise and transform the dated centre as well as expand the exhibition and corporate space.
The transformation will include an extension and creation of a new mezzanine floor – almost doubling the exhibition space –and exposing the roof structure to allow natural light to flood into the building.
The £4.7 million redevelopment is being made possible by support and funding from the Inspiring Science Fund – a partnership between the Department for Business,Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and Wellcome– as well as Opportunity North East (ONE) and Aberdeen City Council.
Fundraising is ongoing to secure a further £1.25 million to ensure quality of programmes and delivery to enhance the overall visitor experience at the venue.
Aberdeen Science Centre is scheduled to open at the Tramsheds in spring 2020.