The Oil & Gas Technology Centre will today launch an accelerator aimed at boosting innovative new technologies that tackle issues in the sector.

TechX will invest millions into new projects, with up to £100,000 for startups and up to £500,000 for small firms.

David Millar, the director of TechX, told City AM the industry needs fresh ideas and innovative technology to thrive again after three years of adapting to lower commodity prices.

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"The approach to technology hasn't changed much over the past few years," Millar said, adding that it can take 10 to 15 years for a new technology to break its way into the highly risk-averse industry.

TechX aims to speed up the process and provide support for early stage projects through funding, mentors, co-working spaces and test facilities.

Everything from new sensor technology, data analytics and machine learning could take advantage of the three new programmes: "pioneers" for startups, "market entry" for small and medium sized enterprises and "ventures" for new ideas, which works in partnership with Deep Science Ventures.

A game changer for the North Sea

TechX is partnered with BP, which will provide additional support to its pioneers project.

Mark Thomas, regional president of BP North Sea said TechX could be a "catalyst for change in the North Sea that will impact our industry for decades to come".

"Tapping into game-changing technology will play an ever-increasing role as we seek to explore in and produce from the more technically-challenging corners of our basin," he said.

Millar said: “Our mission is to find new technology companies that can help unlock the full potential of our industry – helping them take their solutions to market – faster. We’re offering a new generation of entrepreneurs unrivalled funding and support to accelerate innovation."

The application process will run until February.

The OGTC was established in October 2016 with £180m funding as part of the Aberdeen City Region Deal. So far, the centre has approved investment of more than £19m in 30 projects in partnership with with industry since it launched in February 2017.

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