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NEWS & INSIGHTS | article

Mission sustainability: four more cleantech start-ups join award-winning technology accelerator

27 April 2020 4 minute read

• NZTC continues partnership with DSV for a second year running, doubling intake
• Wide spread of technology offering low-cost hydrogen production, direct air capture of CO2, and more
• 50% of third cohort represent cleantech companies

Continuing their partnership to accelerate low-carbon technology solutions, the Net Zero Technology Centre (NZTC) and Deep Science Ventures (DSV) have selected four pioneering start-up companies to join the NZTC’s TechX programme, doubling last year’s intake.

TechX’s collaboration with DSV – TechX Ventures – aligns with the NZTC’s vision to unlock solutions that position the industry as a valued part of a balanced low carbon energy mix, such as low-cost hydrogen production and direct air capture of CO2. DSV combine deep science thinking and engineering to create start-up companies who are automatically offered the opportunity to pitch for a place in the TechX programme.

Commenting on the ongoing partnership and the new additions to cohort three, David Millar, TechX Accelerator Director at the NZTC, said:

“Our partnership with DSV is an important one to ensure we continue to build a pipeline of, game changing net zero start-ups. DSV’s ability to build high growth ventures from scratch is unparalleled and this year’s programme is no exception

“The four companies that we have selected have unique technology solutions that solve real net zero challenges and we can’t wait to start working closely with them to accelerate them forward in pursuit of the much needed energy transition.”

Through the TechX Ventures programme, the following companies were selected:

Mission Zero – Bio-inspired, ultra-efficient direct air capture technology to remove CO2

Mellizyme – Bio-recycling of plastics using a unique enzyme

Supercritical – Revolutionary new electrolyser creating low-cost hydrogen

sHYp – Producing green hydrogen from sea water without the need for desalination

The DSV spinouts join the eight previously selected companies of cohort three which were announced in February 2020. This brings the accelerator’s third cohort to a total of 12 pioneering companies, six of which align with NZTC and Vision 2035.

In light of COVID-19, the programme’s official start date has been postponed until August, though each of the companies will be given access to their £100,000 seed funding on the original date planned, with no equity or payback required and all intellectual property retained by the company. The 16-week intensive programme provides access to development partners, mentors and extraordinary access to the energy market potential to help the start-ups chase down all important field trial support.

The programme is supported by over 120 mentors and partners, with three strategic partnerships: KPMG, BP and Equinor.

Discussing the next cohort of entrepreneurs, Amy Burnett, Private Enterprise Manager at KPMG, commented:

“We believe the industry has a sustainable future, driven by disruptive and innovative entrepreneurs. This is now the third year of KPMG Private Enterprise’s partnership with the TechX programme at the Oil & Gas Technology Centre and we’ve been consistently impressed with the ideas and scalable business solutions the programme is nurturing.

“While COP26 may be postponed, governments around the world have made it clear that they won’t abandon bold long-term net zero goals, and it’s great to see this year’s cohort focused so clearly on that sustainability mission. Many of the business models and ideas being nurtured by TechX will play central roles in solving global issues, not just in oil and gas. We’re incredibly proud to play our part in supporting new business ideas and solutions for global economic and environmental challenges.”

David Gilmour, Vice President Business Development, BP Group Technology, said:

“BP is delighted to continue its partnership with the NZTC TechX initiative, building on the success of the past two years. The third cohort of start-ups enter the programme at unprecedented times for all of us.

“This will introduce additional challenges, but also create new opportunities for companies focused on innovation, disruptive technology and game-changing ways of working. As BP and the world plots a course towards net zero, ambitious young start-ups like those coming out of the TechX initiative will play an increasingly important role.”

Kristen Aamodt, Head of Equinor Technology Ventures, said:

“Congratulations to the shortlisted entrepreneurs in cohort three for the ground-breaking ideas that have been put forward. Equinor is pleased to continue our collaboration with the NZTC TechX programme to support radical innovation from start-ups, which is of benefit to the supply chain and our broad portfolio of activities in the UK.

“Through this partnership, we can support game changing technologies which have the potential to make a lasting impact on the energy industry and bring us closer to our goal of net zero”

Colette Cohen, CEO of the NZTC, added:

“We are delighted to be announcing the final four companies to join the TechX Cohort three line-up. The selection of this group of high potential companies continues the NZTC’s commitment to develop and accelerate companies and technologies which will positively impact the North Sea and our industry’s carbon footprint.”

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