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NEWS & INSIGHTS | article

Pioneering the way for a net zero future – TechX programme announces Cohort 3

24 February 2020

• Eight successful entrepreneurs selected from over 150 applications across 37 countries
• Companies will receive up to £100,000 funding with no equity or payback required
• Up to four more spaces reserved for spin outs from TechX Ventures programme

With over 150 applications from 37 different countries, eight have been successful in their ambition to join the 16-week programme. Starting in June, the programme is now supported by over 120 mentors and three strategic partners, BP, Equinor and KPMG.

Each Pioneer receives up to £100,000 seed funding to help develop their technology, with no equity or payback required and all intellectual property is retained by the company. The 16-week intensive programme provides access to development partners and field trials, providing a unique and unprecedented opportunity to access the energy market.

The award-winning programme, now in its third year, provides expert support from a diverse range of entrepreneurs, leaders and investors, and has already demonstrated its ability to accelerate early stage start-ups by four to five years.

Alongside key oil and gas focused technology, this years’ application pool has the introduction of cleantech applications, aligned to the OGTC’s recently launched Net Zero Solution Centre. One of these is Carnot, a spin out from Oxford University Innovations, offering game-changing ceramic engines that has the potential to double the efficiency and half the fuel consumption/CO2 emissions of current engines.

Another successful company, QLM, is looking to develop low-cost technology that can detect and quantify methane emissions at long ranges; technology which could be fundamental in the industry development of next generation emissions monitoring technology.

Commenting on the evolution of applications this year, TechX Accelerator director, David Millar, said: “The quality this year has been exceptional, which made it a tough job to select the top 5% from over 150 different applications. But we have chosen eight passionate, enthusiastic and committed Pioneer companies that offer step-changing technologies.

“This year we’ve seen more wells and asset integrity focused companies, while at the same time, noticed a big transition in the type of cleantech companies applying.”
The full list of Pioneers include:

• Actuation Lab: next generation composite actuators for extreme environments
• ENGTech: predictive analysis and AI to create a pipeline digital twin and automated FEA
• Creid 7: metal-to-metal seal integrity inspection tool
• Carnot: ceramic engine (multi fuel) that doubles efficiency and half fuel consumption
• Nudge Exchange: connecting companies with a flexible, high-skilled workforce
• Pulse UK: a unique tool for identifying and verifying pipework and tubing
• QLM: gas detection and quantification for reducing fugitive emissions
• Steel Space Casing Drilling: downhole powered drilling technology

Colette Cohen, CEO of the OGTC, added: “This is a pivotal year for the industry as we embrace both the challenge and opportunity of a net zero future. OGTC has established a strong collaborative relationship with the industry developing and deploying technologies to make a difference.

“Our unique programme will give these Pioneers an opportunity to partner with some of the industry’s most experienced mentors and access to key facilities to turn their concept into reality. It’s the beginning of a very exciting journey for them.”

TechX has three strategic partners – BP, Equinor and KPMG – who provide support to the Pioneers on their journey. Their experience and expert knowledge are crucial in securing rapid prototyping, test facilities and field trials.

Commenting on pitch day, Amy Burnett, Private Enterprise Manager at KPMG, said: “The TechX accelerator programme provides a community to the entrepreneurs who are starting up. Being an entrepreneur can be lonely, but by having this community of fellow pioneers, an array of mentors and strategic partners supporting them, it can accelerate their development.

“This year we have some exciting, disruptive and innovative ideas that are really going to add value to the industry. We look forward to offering our guidance and watch these companies grow from strength to strength.”

TechX has four further spaces available through its Venture programme, which are awarded in mid-April. A collaboration with Deep Science Ventures, it brings together deep science and engineering to support start-ups focused on developing technologies that will transition the energy industry to a net zero future.

Commenting on the expectations for this years’ cohort, TechX Delivery Manager, Stuart MacKinven said: “For our successful Pioneers that have made it into the programme, the real work starts now. The 16-week programme allows for professional and personal development. TechX backs people, not just technology and the TechX team are excited about working closely with the companies we have selected so far.

“As the oil and gas/energy sector is on a trajectory towards a net zero future, technology start-ups are going to be front and centre of helping achieve this ambition.”

Our inaugural cohort are testament to leveraging the expertise and experience to accelerate commercialisation of their technologies – an outstanding achievement within two years. If you would like to find out more about their journey, click here for more information.

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