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Tech X Ventures Launched to Develop New Generation of Start-ups

Ross Kelly

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TechX Ventures OGTC

A partnership between the Oil & Gas Technology Centre (OGTC) and Deep Science Ventures will help nurture start-ups and develop new technologies for the oil and gas industry.

The Oil & Gas Technology Centre (OGTC) has announced the launch of TechX Ventures in partnership with Deep Science Ventures (DSV). The partnership will combine deep science with engineering to enable start-ups to fuel the next generation of sustainable technologies in the oil and gas industry.

A key component of the TechX Ventures programme is already underway, with DSV having recruited three teams of scientists and engineering experts from around the world to tackle key challenges in the sector. It is hoped that the nine-month programme will create a host of start-up companies with new intellectual property.

David Millar, TechX Director for the OGTC, 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.”

Key Challenges

A workshop that involved industry, academia and the scientific community has identified key areas where new technologies and strategies could open up significant opportunities. Three key challenge themes were developed, each of which will be worked on by specific TechX Ventures teams, these include:

Carbon Negative Operations

To meet global emissions targets, large-scale, affordable and highly effective carbon capture and storage solutions are essential. The programme will aim to develop new technologies that will allow the capture of carbon at source, as well as developing safe storage and conversion to other useful products; such as graphene or hydrogen.

Automated Oil and Gas

Revolutionary new technologies such as artificial intelligence, robotics and automation have the potential to revolutionise the oil and gas sector. The industry, however, is playing catch-up to other industries, such as aerospace when it comes to adopting new tech.

In response to this, TechX Ventures aims to apply recent technological advances to North Sea operations in order to improve safety, enhance production efficiency and automate the decommissioning process. A report published in July showed that North Sea oil and gas production efficiency (PE) had improved for the fifth consecutive year, with technology playing a crucial role in streamlining industry operations.

Energy Movement

TechX hopes to revolutionise the movement of energy from well to the customer by creating technologies which convert reserves to electric energy at source. Additionally, it aims to store and transport electrical energy and convert wasteful process such as gas flaring to electrical energy.

For nearly a decade, DSV’s founders have helped to launch and grow over 50 science-driven companies. Three-quarters of these companies continue to develop and the team has had five exits; Hark (Google) and Surreal Vision (Facebook).

Sustainable Energy Solutions

Deep Science Ventures Director, Dominic Falcao, 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.”

Falcao added: “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.”

Start-ups created through the TechX Ventures programme will enter the next cohort of the TechX Pioneer accelerator programme. Scheduled to start in May 2019, this offers up to £100,000 of equity free, no-payback funding.

Ross Kelly

Staff Writer

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