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NEWS & INSIGHTS | article

Global tech start-ups land coveted place on unique accelerator and share of £1 million

11 March 2019
  • 10 tech start-ups join Technology Centre’s TechX Pioneer Programme 
  • Up to £100,000 funding, no equity or payback, IP retained by entrepreneurs
  • Intensive 16-week programme, with further 12-month incubator support
  • BP confirmed as strategic partner for second year

Autonomous underwater swarm robots and micro-polymers designed to reinstate well integrity, are just some of the exciting new technologies that have secured funding through the Oil & Gas Technology Centre’s TechX Pioneer Accelerator Programme. 

Nearly 200 applications from over 35 countries were received this year, with strong representation from the UK, US and Canada, covering both oil and gas and cleantech solutions that will support the industry to maximise economic recovery and the transition to a low carbon economy.

The final 16 companies successfully battled it out in front of industry judges who awarded 10 coveted places for this year’s cohort, starting in May. Each of the lucky start-ups get up to £100,000 to develop their business and technology as part of an intensive 16-week accelerator programme that includes expert mentors, development partners and deep access to the industry.   

After graduating, Pioneers have the opportunity to join a 12-month incubator called TechX+, with two companies awarded an additional share in £130,000 funding from strategic partner, BP. 

All funding is provided with no equity or payback, and intellectual property is retained by the Pioneer – a distinctive approach that sets TechX apart from other global accelerator programmes. 

Congratulating the successful Pioneers, David Millar, TechX Director said: 

“The quality of applications was exceptional and it’s been challenging to shortlist from such a strong field.  We’ve selected the top 5% from a global pool to join our Pioneer Programme. We’ve also taken a huge amount of learning from the first cohort and reflected this in a simpler but more rigorous selection process, ensuring the right balance of technology, skills and ambition.   

“The 10 Pioneers we’ve chosen truly embrace these qualities and we look forward to helping them achieve their full potential and deliver clear value to the UK Continental Shelf and beyond.” 

David Gilmour, Vice President of BP Ventures said: 

“We are delighted to continue as a strategic partner of TechX, building on the success from last year. The programme has already seen several technologies develop from early stage concept through to successful prototype, including RAB Microfluidics, who secured BP’s Technology Award for their ground-breaking ‘lab on a chip’ – which diagnoses the early signs of equipment failure. 

“We look forward to accelerating the development of these companies in cohort 2, including an exciting number of cleantech solutions that will help deliver the industry’s focus on secure, sustainable energy while advancing a low carbon future.” 

Martin Findlay KPMG Partner and TechX delivery partner added: 

“The oil and gas sector is changing; from the impact of oil price to new commercial models and working practices.  Technology has a critical role to play in this rapidly evolving landscape and we must develop innovative solutions that embrace this new world.   

“We’re excited to see the projects being delivered through TechX and look forward to continuing our work with the OGTC and Pioneers to create a new wave of entrepreneurs.”

Our cohort 2 pioneers are: 

  • Vita Inclinata Technologies: hoisting technology that increases the operating envelop for both cranes and helicopters, reducing downtime associated with weather while improving safety.   
  • Resolute Energy Solutions: micro-polymers designed to fill unwanted gaps in well equipment, cements and the formation rock, fully blocking permeability and preventing the unwanted flow of subsurface fluids.    
  • Sedwell Limited: low-power, low-cost wireless condition monitoring technology that provides real-time data to prevent hydrocarbon releases, increasing safety and reliability.    
  • Hydromea: mini underwater autonomous robots that collect and harvest data in a subsea environment using high speed underwater communication and transfer.   
  • Mocean Energy: an autonomous, unmanned offshore renewable energy station to power ocean sensors, communication equipment and recharge sea-surface, underwater, and air drones.  
  • Sentinel Subsea: non-invasive, environmentally friendly, no power alarm that monitors the integrity of suspended and abandoned oil and gas wells.  
  • The Big Swing Company: multi-phase separator to de-bottleneck and increase production from marginal fields.  
  • Green Mesa: software that enables emission profiling of assets, allowing informed decisions to be made for compliance reporting and fleet utilisation.
  • AI Exploration: a multi-phase system for enabling real-time surveillance of single wells across the entire oil field, to adjust and automate production and reduce unscheduled downtime. 

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