Aberdeen’s Oil & Gas Technology Centre (OGTC) has officially launched the third year of its TechX accelerator programme with the announcement of a major new industry partner.
The initiative is designed to help start-up ventures take their offering to the energy market faster. To date, 21 companies have graduated from the programme, developing ground-breaking technologies including a so-called “lab-on-a-chip”, machine learning seismic imaging software and new oil field well surveillance technology.
In the space of two years, some £2.8 million has been co-invested into these pioneering businesses with a further £1m of investment being secured post-graduation from the programme.
Collectively, three field trials have been completed with seven planned over the next year and a further ten on the horizon.
The launch of the latest programme coincided with the news that Equinor had come on board as a “strategic partner”, alongside existing firms BP and KPMG.
David Millar, TechX director at the OGTC, said: “We’re excited to be partnering with Equinor, to harness their passion, entrepreneurship and technical innovation in mentoring this next cohort of pioneers.
“While they have already supported the TechX programme during the customer validation stage, this strategic partnership will also allow us to align and broaden our focus on the Norwegian ecosystem, exposing UK-based start-ups and entrepreneurs to an important overseas export market that is leading the way for net zero carbon technologies.
“We look forward to strengthening this year’s programme, working closely alongside our broader partners, BP and KPMG, who have been instrumental in achieving our current success to date.”
Ivar Vee Aune, investment director at Equinor Technology Ventures, said: “Through our participation in the previous cohort we got to experience first-hand the passion and determination of the participating founders.”
Martin Findlay, senior partner at KPMG in Aberdeen, added: “The energy sector is going through a period of rapid change and transformation, driven by innovation.
“The downturn forced everyone in the sector to shift away from their traditional business models, towards a more tech-driven approach. TechX is a great example of driving and supporting change through entrepreneurial behaviour in the industry.”
Applications for the TechX Pioneer programme are open for cohort three until 10 January 2020.