An accelerator programme which aims to boost the number of climate tech startups in Scotland has partnered with an oil company based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) will provide startups on the Net Zero Technology Centre’s (NZTC) TechX scheme with access to technology experts and the potential for field trials.

TechX is set to boost 12 clean energy startups specialising in areas ranging from digitalisation, hydrogen and carbon capture, to renewable energy and oil and gas emission reduction technologies.

The programme’s focus aligns with ADNOC’s decarbonisation strategy, which in recent months has seen ADNOC and energy giants bp and Masdar agree to explore developing clean hydrogen hubs in both the UAE and UK. 

In December 2021, ADNOC also announced its plans to develop a decarbonisation road map for power generation, which includes reducing carbon emissions from gas turbines used to power its downstream and industry operations.

With support from ADNOC, bp and energy company Equinor, TechX will launch the fourth cohort of its accelerator next month where selected participants will undertake an intensive 15-week programme followed by two years’ growth support.

Mark Anderson, TechX director, said: “We are delighted to welcome ADNOC as a TechX Strategic Partner, as they share our focus in exploring and accelerating disruptive technologies that can help us decarbonise the energy industry and speed up the transition to net zero.

“Through our global partnerships, which have allowed us to enhance and diversify the accelerator programme, we look forward to discovering the next generation of highly innovative clean energy technologies. As we expand our portfolio of game-changing tech start-ups, the expert support, investment and potential for field trials offered by our Strategic Partners will help us to build a thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem with sustainability at its core.”

Ali Al Rawahi, vice president, R&D (Upstream) at ADNOC Group, said: ADNOC is excited to be the first company in the region to join the award-winning TechX programme as a strategic partner. Joining bp and Equinor in this programme that focuses on sourcing, accelerating and adopting disruptive net-zero technologies, reinforces ADNOC’s commitment to provide global technology leadership and contributes towards achieving the UAE’s Net Zero by 2050 Strategic Initiative.”

Nick Kendall, investment associate at bp ventures, said: “We are pleased that ADNOC has been announced as a TechX Strategic Partner. This offers an exciting opportunity to collaborate on innovative technologies and solutions that can help to decarbonise global oil and gas operations, as well as accelerating clean energy technologies to help deliver our shared net zero goal. TechX will play a key role in supporting the existing strategic partnership between bp and ADNOC, with our ambitions of developing clean energy solutions for the UK and UAE.”

Jeroen Van der Hoek, investment manager at Equinor Ventures, added: “Equinor welcomes ADNOC to the consortium of partners behind TechX. A diverse set of partners supporting TechX will help boost the start-up ecosystem and innovate to solve the challenges of the energy transition. As a strategic partner, we look forward to working with our new partners to help provide access to technology experts, special recognition awards, potential investment opportunities and field trials.”

Founded in 2017, the NZTC was created as part of the Aberdeen City Region Deal, with £180 million of UK and Scottish government funding to maximise the potential of the North Sea.

To date, the centre has co-invested £192m in technologies which have the potential to generate £10-15 billion in gross value added (GVA) to the Scottish economy, screened over 1,450 technologies, completed 89 field trials, and progressed more than 23 technologies to commercialisation.