One of Scotland’s most respected and seasoned entrepreneurs has handed her children the reins to her firm as she embarks upon a new role as CEO of a new, high growth start up.
Jeanette Forbes, of PCL Group, has joined the board of Blue Gentoo to help drive the business forward and scale it up for growth.
The firm, which has developed new digital gas hydrate technology for the oil and gas sector, was hatched two years ago on the inaugural Grey Matters business incubator programme run by Elevator for Scottish Enterprise.
The company’s founders, Phil Bremner, Chris Oliver and Chika Uduma have steadily built up the business and the brand since then, partnering with Hydrafact, a Heriot Watt University spin out company, and working with Aberdeen University Computer Science department on a machine learning research and development project.
Blue Gentoo aims to address the problem of gas hydrates, which are a challenge for all upstream gas producers.
They occur when gas reacts with water in a pipeline, often resulting in concrete-hard ice plugs which block pipelines, stop production and are extremely hard to remove.
Gas producers spend billions of pounds each year trying to reduce the risk of gas hydrates but the current approach is expensive, imprecise and inefficient.
Blue Gentoo’s technology is designed to monitor and manage gas hydrate risk using sensors.
They believe this has the potential to transform industry’s approach to tackling them, reducing hydrate risk and delivering huge cost savings.
The company gained prominence last year, when it was selected to join the first Oil & Gas Technology Centre (OGTC) TechX Pioneer programme, which aims to fast track the impact that technology-based start-ups can have on the industry.
This gave the company greater prominence among local oil and gas operators, and initial field trials are anticipated in the coming months.
Ms Forbes said: “I’m excited by the potential that companies like Blue Gentoo have to improve on embedded industry practices.
“The future is digital and Blue Gentoo is at the forefront of this – deploying machine learning and digital analytics to tackle an old problem in a new way and releasing significant value for its customers as a result.
“We know the challenges faced in bringing new technology to market and in convincing people of the benefits of change and I’m looking forward to this challenge. My hope is that Blue Gentoo will help secure the future of the oil and gas industry in Scotland and create challenging and interesting career paths for those involved.”
Jeanette will remain on the board of PCL Group, the IT and cabling company she founded in 2000, but has formally handed over the running of the company to her son Chris, who becomes managing director, and daughter Joanne, who has been appointed financial director.