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Tech X Pioneer programme opens for second year of applications

Today sees the launch of the second year of the Oil & Gas Technology Centre’s TechX Pioneers programme.  The unique accelerator and incubator programme backed by more than 120 industry partners and mentors, will support a select group of start-up technology developers to take their solutions to the oil and gas market-faster.

From today applications are open for the Pioneer programme which will provide up to £100,000 for start-up new technology ideas with no equity or payback, as well as the developers retaining all intellectual property.

BP Ventures have confirmed that they will be the strategic partner for the Pioneer programme for the second year running.  This partnership will see them offer up to £135,000 to outstanding Pioneers, as well as dedicated access to BP’s facilities and expertise.

Over the next four months the TechX Pioneer campaign will be getting out and about to cities including Edinburgh, Manchester and London in the UK and Boston and Houston in the US to encourage technology start-ups internationally to apply for a place on the programme. 

The launch of the second, annual programme is fast on the heels of the graduation of the first cohort of TechX Pioneers last month.  During the 16-week programme these 10 companies experienced business mentors, co-working space, forward-thinking business partners, rapid prototyping, test facilities, large scale field trials, and showcase events.

Using the extensive network of the OGTC, the Pioneers had over 150 meetings with 47 different operators and service companies during the programme.  This unique opportunity provided the 10 start-ups with insight, validation and six of them have received expressions of interest for field trials.

David Millar, TechX Director said: “The first year of the TechX Pioneer programme was a huge success with our cohort of 10 start-ups.  We are delighted to be opening applications once again to see what technology ideas are put forward and who our next cohort of start-ups starting the 16-week intensive programme next Spring will be.   We are delighted to once again have BP Ventures onboard as our strategic partner, providing invaluable insight, guidance and experience."

Ross Macleod, Founder of Intelift, one of the newly graduated Pioneers and winner of the TechX Performance Award of £40,000 said: “Being accepted onto the TechX Pioneer programme was a game-changer for us as a small, technology start-up company.  The access we received to business mentors, industry insight, not to mention the funding to develop our business and technology was fantastic.  Coming out of the 16-week programme we are full of enthusiasm and plans for the future, which is extremely exciting for us.”

Rotimi Alabi Founder of RAB Microfluidics, another of the newly graduated Pioneers and winner of the BP TechX Technology Award of £60,000 to continue to support their technology development said: “Our 16 weeks on the TechX Pioneer programme accelerated our business in ways we never imagined.  The learning curve and wealth of information and guidance we received in a few short months was something we wouldn’t have had access to without the TechX programme.  I’d encourage any start-up with a technology idea which could solve a challenge in the oil and gas industry, to apply for the Pioneer programme.”

David Gilmour, Vice President Business Development BP Group Technology, said:” “The TechX initiative has been a success, with year one uncovering some breakthrough thinking and innovation that we believe could help transform the energy sector, not just in the North Sea but across the globe. One of BP Ventures’ core principles is to identify and invest in game-changing technology companies that are accelerating cutting edge innovations across the entire energy spectrum. TechX ticks all these boxes. We are delighted to continue our support of this ground-breaking programme and we look forward to working with the next cohort of Pioneers to help scale and develop their ideas further.”

The fast and flexible online application process is now open for the Tech X Pioneers programme, which will begin in May 2019. The process for Pioneers will close on 31 January 2019, with places confirmed in March 2019.