TechX accelerator announces first Pioneers

An entire laboratory shrunk onto a microchip, pipelines that are ‘zipped’ together and a safer, greener and cheaper alternative to liquified natural gas (LNG) could soon be making their way into the UK North Sea as part of the TechX Pioneer technology accelerator programme.

The first companies for the Pioneer programme have been selected following a pitch to a panel of industry experts and academia. The Pioneers are technology start-ups with solutions that could transform the future of the oil and gas industry.

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Our Pioneers are:

Blue Gentoo: Helping mitigate and manage the formation of gas hydrates and ensure the efficient dosing of ‘anti-freeze’ chemicals, saving millions of pounds.

Envio: Adapting its technology from the retail sector to track and verify equipment offshore. Intelligent equipment cases can remotely verify contents, location and usage.

Immaterial: Manufacturing super-adsorbent nanomaterials which can dramatically reduce the cost of separating, storing, and transporting gases.

Paragon Inspection Limited: Developing an integrated digital inspection technology which will transform the inspection of small bore tubing and reduce hydrocarbon leaks.

RAB Microfluidics: Pioneering ‘lab-on-a-chip’ technology to provide real time condition monitoring and predictive failure analysis for rotating equipment.

Sensalytx: An artificially intelligent software platform that analyses and visualises fluid movement across multiple elements of an oil and gas well.

Specialist Safety Systems: Developing intelligent offshore solutions for safer and more efficient crane operation. This solution will help prevent incidents and fatalities.

Tenzor Geo: Using unique interpretation software and autonomous Ocean Bottom Seismometers to deliver an unprecedented accuracy in oil and gas deposit location.

test 1 srl: Developing a sponge-like material that can soak up spilled oil in the ocean, which can be reused multiple times and allows for the oil to be recovered for processing.

Tubular Sciences: Sealing technology that ‘zips’ pipelines together, which can be used for the full range of pipe-lay environments including challenging and deep water.

Each Pioneer will now receive £25,000 seed funding to help develop their business and enhance the technology through our intense 16-week programme, which starts at the Oil & Gas Technology Centre in June 2018.

Up to £75,000 in additional funding is available during the 16 weeks and upon graduation Pioneers will be transferred into a 12-month incubator called TechX+. Two companies with the most exciting potential also have the opportunity of a further £100,000 funding from BP.

All funding is provided with no equity taken or payback required, and intellectual property is retained by the Pioneer.

David Millar, TechX Director, the Oil & Gas Technology Centre said:

“We were blown away by the technology ideas presented and now have 10 ambitious start-ups with us that want to change the world! I’m sure these first Pioneers will set a benchmark in technology development that positions TechX as the leading accelerator for companies hoping to break into the oil and gas industry.

“TechX represents a significant opportunity to develop a new technology supply chain in the North East of Scotland and it anchor it here for generations to come. We are delighted to have our first Pioneers on board and look forward to working with them to help develop their business and exciting new solutions for the industry.”

David Gilmour, Vice President, BP Ventures said:

“The ideas presented to us by the first wave of TechX Pioneers have been testament to the quality of talent taking part in the programme. Accelerating innovative thinking and developing new technologies and solutions is a key objective at BP to allow us to maintain and develop our business both in the North Sea and beyond.

“We are incredibly proud to be associated and connected with the initiative and we look forward to working with the Pioneers to help develop and scale their ideas and technologies further.”

Eleanor Mitchell, Entrepreneurial Growth and Grant Appraisal & Management Director, Scottish Enterprise, said:

“Since the downturn in the oil industry, Scottish Enterprise has worked closely with partners to address the changing demands of the industry and build an ecosystem to encourage entrepreneurs and companies to innovate. Grey Matters is one such initiative, which has already delivered a number of innovative companies and it is encouraging to see the success of some of these companies in the TechX Pioneer programme.

“It’s fantastic to see such strong demand for the Pioneer programme, especially from entrepreneurs in the North East, and we look forward to working with these companies to help them meet their growth ambitions.”

Prof. Gary McEwan, Elevator CEO, said:

“Our region must anchor its future energy industry around an innovative approach to enabling technology. The pioneers who have been selected for TechX represent exactly the quality of global technology we need to start and scale here in Scotland and we all wish them well.

“It is encouraging that Blue Gentoo, RAB Microfluidics and Sensalytx all came through Elevator programmes. Collaboratively we are creating a supportive journey that takes entrepreneurs from idea to global success. Regionally, we must work together to redefine the North East as a diverse and sustainably prosperous economy.”

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