Aberdeen’s TechX to invest millions in start-ups and SMEs

TechXTechX, a multi-million pound incubator and accelerator to help hundreds of start-ups and SMEs take their technology solutions to the oil and gas market, has been launched in Aberdeen.

The Oil and Gas Technology Centre, in partnership with BP, has unveiled a series of programmes which aims to recruit 100 start-ups and 200 SMEs, with the promise of up to £100,000 and £500,000 respectively. No equity or pay back is required and the technology developers will retain the IP.

With three tailored programmes – Pioneers, Market Entry and Ventures – TechX will “accelerate the future of the oil and gas industry,” the centre said in a statement.

The Pioneers programme provides “game-changing funding”, with up to £100,000 available to start-ups with new technology ideas. In addition, BP Ventures will offer selected Pioneers a further £100,000 of funding each, as well as dedicated access to BP’s facilities and expertise.

The 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.

TechX will help companies commercialise their solutions, providing a collaborative environment to nurture ideas and use the centre’s network to connect with to investors and companies across the industry.

The 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.”

Paul Wheelhouse, Scottish Government Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy added: “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.

“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.”