The Oil and Gas Technology Centre (OGTC) has launched the third year of its “pioneer” start-up programme with Norwegian operator Equinor joining as a partner.
A total of 21 companies have graduated to date from the TechX programme with £2.8million co-invested in these firms in the first two years and a further £1m secured post-graduation.
The four-month programme in Aberdeen acts as launching pad for new-starts with ground-breaking ideas for the energy sector, with up to £100,000 funding for each with no payback.
After some participation with a previous cohort, Equinor has now joined as an official partner to broaden the focus on the Norwegian sector as potential export market and its work in net zero technologies.
The firm will provide funding where the technologies align with Equinor’s operations along with field trials on that basis, although the value that companies could receive hasn’t been disclosed.
BP and accountancy firm KPMG remain the main partners, with BP offering a further £135,000 to the top two firms.
They will both also offer access to technology and financial experts as well as test facilities.
TechX director David Millar said: “We’re excited to be partnering with Equinor, to harness their passion, entrepreneurship and technical innovation in mentoring this next cohort of Pioneers.
“While they have already supported the TechX programme during the customer validation stage, this strategic partnership will also allow us to align and broaden our focus on the Norwegian ecosystem, exposing UK-based start-ups and entrepreneurs to an important overseas export market that is leading the way for net zero carbon technologies.”
Applications are now open for the third cohort, which closes on January 10 next year.
It will have a specific focus on technologies for digital transformation and low-carbon solutions in areas including renewables, subsurface, asset integrity, wells, marginal developments and decommissioning.
TechX has facilitated three field trials, with seven planned for the next year and another 10 beyond that.
Meanwhile, 13 new jobs have been created and two new facilities have been opened.
Investment director at Equinor Technolgy Ventures, Ivar Vee Aune, said: “Through our participation in the previous cohort we got to experience first-hand the passion and determination of the participating founders, as well as the exceptional quality delivered by the TechX team, other industry partners, mentors and everyone else involved.
“We were incredibly impressed, and are happy to announce that ETV, in line with our commitment to be a long-term UK energy partner, will now be working closely with the TechX team to ensure the future success of the programme.”