Sir Ian Wood's ONE group backing initiative to boost energy innovation

Sir Ian Wood, chair of Opportunity North East. Picture: Lisa Ferguson.Sir Ian Wood, chair of Opportunity North East. Picture: Lisa Ferguson.
Sir Ian Wood, chair of Opportunity North East. Picture: Lisa Ferguson.
The private sector group looking to catalyse growth in the North-east, backed by Scottish oil tycoon Sir Ian Wood, is helping to launch an initiative to accelerate innovation in the UK energy sector

Opportunity North East (ONE), which is chaired by Wood is, in partnership with Barclays Eagle Labs and technology incubator CodeBase, to work with industry leaders to boost innovation, and unite top global “energytech” investors, venture capitalists, entrepreneurs and government leaders at a Barclays Eagle Labs virtual launch event.

The latter takes place on Tuesday 29 September to bring together the community and start strengthening the ecosystem by introducing start-up culture and learning from other industry sectors.

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The Big Interview: Oil tycoon and philanthropist Sir Ian Wood

Speakers at the event include Wood, who founded Aberdeen-headquartered energy and engineering services group Wood and is a major philanthropist; founder and celebrated tech analyst Horace Dediu, known for his research on mobile technology and micro-mobility; BP Launchpad operating partner Siobhan Clarke; Peterson executive director and tech founder Sarah Moore; and The Open University’s professor of energy Bill Nuttall.

Wood said: “We are pleased to be partnering with Barclays Eagle Labs and CodeBase to bring together major players in the energy industry alongside businesses that can challenge and disrupt the mindset and culture to catalyse a more digitally focused energy sector.

"The partnership highlights the critical role the North East of Scotland will play to deliver new energy solutions and investments that address the changing global energy demand and climate change challenge.”

Ben Davey, chief executive of Barclays Ventures, said: “Innovation and digitalisation of the energy sector will be key in meeting our energy needs in the future. That’s why we’re excited to work with our partners [ONE] and CodeBase to bring together tech start-ups with larger energy sector businesses, helping to strengthen the EnergyTech ecosystem and accelerate its digital transformation.”

Steven Drost, chief strategy officer at CodeBase – which is present in Aberdeen, Stirling and Edinburgh – said: “The energy space is evolving at pace. New technologies, climate change and societal demands are shaping how we create, package and price energy and digital is very much part of this mix. As US entrepreneur and investor Marc Andreessen famously put it almost a decade ago, ‘software is eating the world’ and in 2020 this very much includes the energy sector.”

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