Oil and gas

Tech startups working across the oil and gas sectors can now apply to join TechX, a new accelerator launching in North East Scotland today.

The accelerator, which offers three programmes – pioneers, market entry and ventures – will seek to provide between £100,000 and £500,000 in funding to startups with new ideas.

BP Ventures, the accelerator’s strategic partner in the pioneers programme, will offer entrepreneurs the chance to gain an additional £100,000 each.

TechX has been designed to help small tech firms take their solutions to market and plans to back more than 100 companies.

Participants on both schemes will have access to a network of business mentors, office space, business partners and large-scale field trials.

David Millar, TechX Director, commented: “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 startups 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, went on say that today’s announcement marked an exciting step for 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 £90m in the Oil and Gas Technology Centre to help it champion the future exploration and production of UK oil and gas,” Hammond added.

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.”

The Oil & Gas Technology Centre was established in October last year with £180m from the Aberdeen City Region Deal.