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NEWS & INSIGHTS | article

TechX to invest millions in start-ups and SMEs – BP announced as strategic partner

06 December 2017
  • 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

Today marks the launch of TechX – a unique technology accelerator and incubator focused on helping smaller, ambitious technology developers take their solutions to the oil and gas market – faster.

With three tailored programmes – Pioneers, Market Entry and Ventures – TechX will accelerate the future of the oil and gas industry.

Our Pioneers programme provides game-changing funding – with up to £100,000 available to start-ups with new technology ideas. What’s more, TechX requires no equity or payback, and the developer retains all intellectual property.

We’re delighted to confirm BP Ventures as a strategic partner in our Pioneers programme. In addition to the core funding and support from TechX, BP Ventures will offer a small, exclusive group of Pioneers a further £100,000 of funding each, as well as dedicated access to BP’s facilities and expertise.

We also want to accelerate market entry to the oil and gas industry for small- and medium-sized companies from all sectors. Our Market Entry programme offers up to £500,000 funding and unrivalled access to customers to help SMEs fast track a route to market.

Participants on both programmes benefit from the support of experienced business mentors, co-working space, forward-thinking business partners, rapid prototyping, test facilities, large scale field trials, and showcase events.

We’ll help TechX companies commercialise their solutions, providing a collaborative environment to help nurture their ideas and use our extensive network to make connections to investors and companies across the industry.

The fast and flexible online application process is now open for our first Pioneer and Market Entry programmes, which will begin in April 2018. We expect a high volume of applications and competition will be tough. The process for Pioneers will close on 7 February 2018, with places confirmed in March 2018. We welcome applications for our Market Entry programme throughout the year.

Our Ventures programme, in partnership with Deep Science Ventures, will launch in 2018 and seeks to fill technology gaps with revolutionary companies and products. Harnessing creativity and deep science thinking, we will address future challenges in oil and gas, and the low carbon economy.

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.”

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.

Cllr Jenny Laing, Co-Leader of Aberdeen City Council said:

 “The launch of TechX represents another positive step forward in the journey of the Aberdeen City Region Deal, of which the Oil & Gas Technology Centre is a key element. Investment in innovation and technology supports our wider economic ambitions for our region which has a proud tradition of leading from the front. Collaborative working will be a key driver for a prosperous future for the Aberdeen city region and TechX embraces that philosophy.”

Cllr Jim Gifford chair of the City Region Deal Joint Committee and Leader of Aberdeenshire Council said:

“TechX is a great example of a project which fills a much called-for need in the market and support many new businesses. It is the sort of enterprise that our City Region Deal has been designed to support, something which gives a firm footing for the future and helps the next generation to flourish.”

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