Strategic Investment Assessment

The Strategic Investment Assessment (SIA) was led by Professor Sir Jim McDonald, Principal and Vice Chancellor of the University of Strathclyde, with the support of an Executive Committee, Working Group and Project Team. It was published in August 2021.

This independent assessment was commissioned by SOWEC, and set out recommendations and investment priorities to scale up Scottish capacity and capability necessary to deliver a step change in the ability of Scotland’s supply chain to grow and win offshore wind work. Its five recommendations are as follows:


Recommendation One: The offshore wind sector’s priority must be the establishment of a collaboration framework focused on building confidence amongst Scottish ports, so that required investment is brought forward in time. The immediate priority of such a collaborative framework is supporting the creation of a Scottish Floating Offshore Wind Port Cluster

Recommendation Two: Support Scottish suppliers and get them ready to bid for and win work

Recommendation Three: Celebrate and sell Scottish success

Recommendation Four: Plan for future growth and the next generation of innovations

Recommendation Five: Plan for energy transition and a future of far-from-shore, mixed-use energy projects.



The SIA recommended SOWEC focus work on a Collaborative Framework, as follows:

  1. SOWEC industry members to explore appropriate models and lessons from other sectors for adopting a collaborative framework in advance of ScotWind leases being awarded
  2. Successful ScotWind leaseholders to be encouraged by SOWEC, industry and Crown Estate Scotland to participate in this collaborative framework
  3. The priority infrastructure investment for this framework should be floating platform fabrication and manufacture. This Assessment is clear that this can best be done through a regional focus, investing in a Scottish Floating Offshore Wind Port Cluster
  4. Once engagement between suitable ports and industry is underway, lessons should be learnt from this initial use of a collaborative framework and necessary adaptions made.
  5. The collaborative framework should then be used to support wider engagement between the offshore wind sector and port providers, to help build the investment case for other inward investment in offshore wind component manufacture, as well as to support investment in necessary assembly facilities.


Since the announcement of ScotWind leases in January 2022, Scottish developers and the Scottish Government have been working together to establish this Collaborative Framework, which has led to the Strategic Investment Model, originally launched in May 2023.

Scotland's Collaborative Framework