TechX accelerated to the top with Best Practice in Innovation award

David Millar, TechX Director at the OGTC
David Millar, TechX Director at the OGTC

The Oil & Gas Technology Centre’s (OGTC) TechX Team celebrated their Best Practice in Innovation Award at AIRTO’s recent annual recognition event – dedicated to ‘recognising people who have made an exceptional contribution to the UK’s innovation, research and technology sector’.

AIRTO is the foremost membership body for organisations operating in the UK’s innovation, research and technology sector. Each year, it acknowledges the commitment and long-service of its community through four key awards, one of which was secured by the TechX team for its world-class technology accelerator programme.

TechX is a unique proposition, providing expertise and support as both a technology accelerator and incubator, for start-ups and SMEs looking to enter the energy industry. In just two years, its flagship Pioneer Programme has attracted nearly 200 applications from over 35 countries, for just 10 coveted spaces per year.  

This includes up to £100,000 for each company to develop their business and technology as part of an intensive 16-week accelerator programme that includes expert mentors, development partners and deep access to the industry.   

After graduating, Pioneers can join a 12-month incubator called TechX+, with two companies awarded an additional share in £130,000 funding from strategic partner, BP. 

All funding is provided with no equity or payback, and intellectual property is retained by the Pioneer – a distinctive approach that sets the programme apart from other global accelerators. 

In just nine months after graduating from TechX, the inaugural group of 10 pioneer start-ups have already secured:  

  • One field trial completed with a major operator and a further 14 lined up for 2019
  • £2million of additional investment raised, and a further £5million in progress
  • Nine new jobs created 
  • Numerous multi-million pound commercial opportunities in pursuit

Commenting on this year’s success, David Millar, TechX Director at the OGTC said: 

“Our team is incredibly proud to receive this award from AIRTO, which recognises the herculean effort we have put in to making TechX a success. Our small team is incredibly passionate about delivering game-changing technologies that will unlock the full potential of the UK energy industry and support the transition towards a low carbon economy – and this can only be fully achieved by harnessing the talent of entrepreneurs and start-ups.  

“From an entire laboratory shrunk onto a microchip, through to safer, greener and cheaper alternatives to liquified natural gas (LNG), we are already seeing a number of exciting technology developments through our first cohort. And while the second has only just begun, we are already excited to see our focus expand internationally, including a number of clean-tech solutions through our broader TechX Ventures Programme with Deep Science Ventures. 

“We look forward to continuing this success, harnessing our strong entrepreneurial ecosystem and broad industry and investor network, to see early-stage ideas develop in to fully commercialised technologies that truly move the dial on our North Sea challenges.”

AIRTO’s Chairman, Professor Paul Howarth commented:

“We are delighted to recognise the OGTC’s TechX team through our prestigious Best Practice in Innovation Award. Competition for this award was tough, with a high number of quality nominations from other organisations.  However the panel was unanimous in making their award and we’re thrilled to see such a game-changing project in action to help start-ups.”

David Gilmour, Vice President BP Ventures said:

“One of BP Ventures’ core principles is to identify and invest in game-changing technology companies that are accelerating cutting edge innovations that can help transform the energy sector. TechX ticks all these boxes and we are delighted they have received this prestigious honour from the AIRTO. Congratulations to all the TechX team and the start-ups who are working hard to scale and develop their ideas.” 

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