The Oil & Gas Technology Centre has launched TechX Ventures – a partnership with Deep Science Ventures (DSV) – that combines deep science with engineering to create start-up companies with technologies that position the oil and gas industry for a sustainable future in a low carbon economy.
As part of the TechX Ventures programme, DSV has recruited three teams of scientists and engineering experts from across the world to tackle key challenges. The nine-month programme will create a handful of start-up companies with new intellectual property.
A workshop held with industry, academia and the scientific community, identified areas where new thinking and technology could open up significant opportunities. Three challenge themes were developed, each of which will be worked on by a TechX Ventures team:
Carbon negative operations
Effective, large scale, affordable carbon capture and storage solutions are essential to meet global emissions targets. TechX Ventures seeks to create new technologies that will allow the capture of carbon at source, safe storage and conversion to other useful products such as graphene and hydrogen.
Automated oil and gas
Oil and gas is playing catch-up with other industries, such as automotive and aerospace, when it comes to adopting robotics, automation and artificial intelligence. TechX Ventures aims to apply recent advances in these areas to North Sea operations to improve safety, enhance production efficiency and automate the decommissioning process.
Extracting, transporting and using oil and gas presents many challenges. TechX Ventures wants to revolutionise the movement of energy from well to customer by creating technologies which convert the reserves to electrical energy at source, store and transport electrical energy and convert currently wasteful processes e.g. gas flaring to electrical energy.
DSV’s founders have spent nearly a decade helping to launch and grow over 50 science driven companies. An incredible 75% of these companies continue to grow and the team has had five exits, including Hark (Google) and Surreal Vision (Facebook).
The teams will be based at DSV in London and have access to office space, access to specialised labs and facilities, and sector-specific expertise.
The start-ups created through the TechX Ventures programme will enter the next cohort of the TechX Pioneer accelerator programme, which is scheduled to start in May 2019 and offers up to £100,000 equity free, no payback funding.
David Millar, TechX Director for the Oil & Gas Technology Centre, said: “We’re delighted to be working with the world’s leading minds in science and engineering to create new start-ups and technologies that position the oil and gas industry for a sustainable future in a low carbon economy. With TechX Ventures, we’re not relying on existing solutions – we’re taking fresh thinking with new companies and new intellectual property.
“Deep Science Ventures leverages fundamental deep science principles to deconstruct technology challenges and creates new ventures with radical ideas. This is a unique approach for the oil and gas industry and one that we’re very excited to be leading on.
Dominic Falcão, Director, Deep Science Ventures, said: “It’s exceptionally exciting to work with the TechX team, accessing world-leading expertise and cutting-edge infrastructure, to support the creation of new companies that could help transform the future of the oil and gas industry. We desperately need a sustainable energy formula which deploys radical, convergent scientific approaches, and TechX’s support offers a way of testing these ideas and deploying them in the real world.
“The oil and gas industry is not known for being sexy, but it offers genuine opportunities for step change improvements which are otherwise neglected. We see the chance to make a meaningful difference by building new, multidisciplinary companies.”
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