ONE of our collective aims within the Aberdeen regional economic partnership is to not be a place that determines how successful we are, or how buoyant our future is looking, based solely on the price of a barrel of oil.

That being said there was some good news to come out of our recent Oil & Gas Survey which overall showcases an industry which is confident in the present but, more importantly, ready to invest to meet the challenges of the future.

For those of us passionate about the future of the region, it’s excellent to see that 90% of firms are optimistic about the long-term future of Aberdeen as not just Europe’s oil and gas capital, but as an all-energy hub which will be relevant long after the UKCS comes to the end of its operational phase.

There’s an incredible opportunity for Aberdeen to leverage its reputation in oil and gas and lead the energy transition. Some of the recent partnership projects, such as the launch of the National Decommissioning Centre, and the UK Government’s recent statement of support regarding the Underwater Hub, supported by industry hubs such as the Oil and Gas Technology Centre, act as powerful statements of intent as the North-east looks to build our profile as a global leader in both the energy transition, and as a centre of excellence for subsea engineering.

Fundamentally, what these investments represent is that we are at our strongest when we collaborate. Only 13% of our survey respondents believed that collaboration had declined in the sector in this survey, but we must continue to ensure that spaces are created to encourage firms in the region to share data and approach problems collectively.

We know that the challenges facing us require sustained investment from industry. The positive outlook recorded in this survey will help to maintain this investment environment, but fundamentally, firms need a fiscal environment which allows for the right activity to happen.

The survey results underscore the need for continued partnership between government and industry, but also outline the real results from both engaging constructively.

Russell Borthwick, chief executive, Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce.