OGTC launches third TechX cohort – with virtual and green focus

The Oil & Gas Technology Centre (OGTC) has launched the third cohort of its TechX Accelerator programme – which aims to catalyse start-ups looking to enter the oil and gas industry.
The OGTC’s TechX delivery team. From left: David Millar, Mariah Forbes, Stuart MacKinven, and Natalie Lucey (file image). Picture: contributed.The OGTC’s TechX delivery team. From left: David Millar, Mariah Forbes, Stuart MacKinven, and Natalie Lucey (file image). Picture: contributed.
The OGTC’s TechX delivery team. From left: David Millar, Mariah Forbes, Stuart MacKinven, and Natalie Lucey (file image). Picture: contributed.

The 16-week initiative will be delivered entirely virtually this year, which also sees oil giant Equinor join BP and KPMG as the programme’s strategic industry partners, working closely with the 12 participating “pioneer” firms.

They include Nudge Exchange, connecting companies with a flexible, high-skilled workforce; Creid 7, which offers a metal-to-metal seal integrity inspection tool; and sHYp, whose focus is producing green hydrogen from sea water without the need for desalination.

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Each start-up will receive investor readiness skills and training as well as support from more than 110 experienced mentors, while having access to rapid prototyping, test facilities and co-working space – providing an “unprecedented” opportunity to access the energy market.

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The programme also boasts a “unique” funding model of up to £100,000 available, with no equity take or payback required, and all intellectual property kept by the start-ups.

In addition, half of this year’s cohort comprises cleantech firms – including technology supporting the bio-recycling of plastics using a “unique” enzyme and ultra-efficient direct air carbon capture.

Each graduating business will join the TechX alumni from cohort two and have access to scale-up and support through the TechX Plus incubator – free for two years.

Now in its third year, TechX has supported 33 firms and provided them with more than £3 million of funding. Their progress includes 20 completed field trials, 44 in planning, five Scottish Edge winners, £2m-plus additional investment raised and three commercialised businesses.

OGTC chief executive Colette Cohen said: “The disruptive and exciting technologies offered by these upcoming start-ups are key to our success as an industry. Especially in the midst of a global pandemic and one of the world’s worst economic downturns, our TechX Pioneers represent a light at the end of the tunnel.”

Nacho Gimenez, MD of BP Ventures for Europe and the Middle East, said: “As we reinvent BP and set a new strategic direction to a low-carbon future, it’s fantastic to see several cohort three pioneers focusing on solutions to reduce emissions and deliver sustainable energy.”

Jeroen Van der Hoek, investment manager at Equinor Venture EPI, welcomed the firm’s support of “small start-ups with big ideas,” adding: “By working #together, we can develop game-changing technologies that have the potential to make a lasting impact on the energy industry and bring us closer to our goal of net zero.”

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Amy Burnett, manager at KPMG private enterprise, said: “With innovation at its heart, the TechX programme is a perfect example of the work being done on the ground in Aberdeen to ensure such a vital industry has a sustainable, long-term future.”

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