New oil and gas incubator to invest millions in start-ups and SMEs

The Oil & Gas Technology Centre has launched TechX – a new, oil and gas incubator set to invest millions in start-ups and SMEs 

The Oil & Gas Technology Centre has today (Thursday, 7 December) launched TechX – a unique technology accelerator and incubator designed to help smaller, ambitious technology developers take their solutions to the oil and gas market faster.
With three tailored programmes – Pioneers, Market Entry and Ventures – TechX says it will accelerate the future of the oil and gas industry and is investing in the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs to unlock the full potential of the UK North Sea. 
  • New oil and gas technology accelerator targets 100 start-ups and 200 SMEs
  • Up to £100k funding for technology start-ups, and up to £500k funding for SMEs
  • No equity or pay back required with IP retained by the technology developer
  • Application process now open for Pioneer and Market Entry programmes
David Millar, TechX Director, said: “Our mission is to find new technology companies that can help unlock the full potential of our industry – helping them take their solutions to market – faster. We’re offering a new generation of entrepreneurs unrivalled funding and support to accelerate innovation.
“We’ve put together three exciting programmes and have almost 100 experienced mentors and partner companies on-board to provide expert advice and support to the start-ups and SMEs carefully selected to take part in TechX.
“Now is the time for us to recapture the entrepreneurial spirit that created the UK oil and gas industry to identify innovative new technologies to make the oil and gas industry fit for the 21st century. I’m confident TechX will play an important role.”
Rt Hon Philip Hammond MP, Chancellor of the Exchequer, said: “Today’s TechX announcement is an exciting step which supports small businesses to bring their ideas to market, while addressing the unique challenges faced by the oil and gas industry. This will ensure that Aberdeen continues to lead innovative thinking about future North Sea exploration and production.
“As we create an economy fit for the future, it is vital we back bright ideas and invest in new technologies, which is why the government is investing up to £90 million in the Oil and Gas Technology Centre to help it champion the future exploration and production of UK oil and gas”.
Paul Wheelhouse, Scottish Government Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy, said: “Innovation remains crucial to the oil and gas sector for maximising economic recovery and reducing costs, driving growth in exports and generating sales within the supply chain, and, ultimately, securing the long-term sustainability of the North Sea. That is why I am delighted to launch The Oil & Gas Technology Centre’s TechX, which will see partners support the development of the next game-changing energy companies.
“Since its creation through the Aberdeen City Region Deal, the Centre has approved investment of more than £19 million across 30 projects in partnership with industry, expanded its membership to more than 70, and recently opened its Innovation Hub, all of which will help address the challenges facing the oil and gas sector.”
Mark Thomas, Regional President, BP North Sea said: “BP is delighted to support the TechX Pioneers programme, an initiative which will accelerate new ideas and ways of working. Our commitment to the North Sea is as strong as ever with our plans to target 200,000 barrels a day by 2020 in the region.
“Tapping into game-changing technology will play an ever-increasing role as we seek to explore in and produce from the more technically-challenging corners of our basin. I believe TechX can be a catalyst for change in the North Sea that will impact the industry for decades to come.”
David Gilmour, VP of Business Development at BP Group Technology and Head of BP Ventures, added: “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. This collaboration with the TechX programme will allow us to uncover breakthrough thinking and innovation that can help transform the energy sector.”
Oil & Gas UK’s Chief Executive Deirdre Michie said: “The basin’s complexity and stage of development present their own particular technology challenges so this is the right practical support the industry needs to help maximise the recovery of the UK’s offshore oil and gas resources.
“With significant estimated oil and gas volumes still to recover in the UK, there will be prizes for the trailblazers who can bring innovation and efficiency to the basin – and ultimately the opportunity to showcase supply chain talent and potential overseas, and I would urge anyone sitting with a good idea in their back pocket to apply.”
The Oil & Gas Technology Centre was established in October 2016 with £180 million funding as part of the Aberdeen City Region Deal. With almost 70 memberships, the Centre has approved investment of more than £18 million in 30 projects in partnership with industry since it launched in February 2017.
More information is available on The Oil & Gas Technology Centre website.