Search on for next batch of oil and gas tech pioneers

David Millar, the Oil & Gas Technology Centre's technology accelerator director. Picture: Contributed
David Millar, the Oil & Gas Technology Centre's technology accelerator director. Picture: Contributed
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Aberdeen’s Oil & Gas Technology Centre has pushed the button on its latest TechX Pioneers programme – one of the biggest of its kind.

The accelerator and incubator initiative is backed by more than 120 industry partners and mentors and will allow a select group of start-ups to take their technology to the global oil and gas market more rapidly.

Applications have now opened for the Pioneer programme which will provide up to £100,000 for early-stage tech ventures with no equity or payback, with the developers retaining all intellectual property.

BP Ventures has confirmed that it will be the strategic partner for the programme for the second year running. The partnership will see it offer up to £135,000 to “outstanding Pioneers”, as well as dedicated access to the oil major’s facilities and expertise.

Over the next four months the TechX Pioneer campaign will visit cities including Edinburgh, Manchester and London in the UK and Boston and Houston in the US to encourage tech start-ups internationally to apply for a place on the programme.

The launch of the second annual programme comes hot on the heels of the graduation of the first cohort of TechX Pioneers last month. During the 16-week programme, ten companies experienced business mentoring, were provided with co-working space, access to rapid prototyping, test facilities, large-scale field trials and showcase events.

David Millar, TechX director, said: “The first year of the TechX Pioneer programme was a huge success with our cohort of ten start-ups.

“We are delighted to be opening applications once again to see what technology ideas are put forward and who our next cohort of start-ups starting the 16-week intensive programme next spring will be.”

David Gilmour, vice-president, business development, BP Group Technology, added: “The TechX initiative has been a success, with year one uncovering some breakthrough thinking and innovation that we believe could help transform the energy sector, not just in the North Sea but across the globe.

“One of BP Ventures’ core principles is to identify and invest in game-changing technology companies that are accelerating cutting edge innovations across the entire energy spectrum. TechX ticks all these boxes.”

Ross Macleod, founder of Intelift, one of the newly graduated Pioneers and winner of a performance award of £40,000, said: “Being accepted onto the TechX Pioneer programme was a game-changer for us as a small, technology start-up company.

“The access we received to business mentors, industry insight, not to mention the funding to develop our business and tech was fantastic.”