As the north east of Scotland’s key sectors embrace technology and the opportunities it brings Opportunity North East is leading the delivery of activity to drive digital transformation in the region’s key industries.
“Technology and innovation are at the forefront of all our transformational projects with BioHub, SeedPod and ONE Tech Hub, creating innovative places for industry to come together, develop and grow. In addition, Opportunity North East supports the delivery of projects to accelerate digital transformation in the region’s key sectors.” said Jennifer Craw, Chief Executive, Opportunity North East.
EnergyTech, delivered in partnership with Barclays Eagle Labs and CodeBase is a programme to connect emerging digital tech companies with major players from across the energy industry to drive digital transformation and culture change in the sector. It gives leaders the tools, insight and mindset required to drive a culture of innovation and technology adoption to accelerate digital transformation.
Ms Craw continued: “Highly interactive, expert led monthly meetups include speakers with experience from both inside and outside the sector. Participants have heard from leaders from Palantir Tech, Airbus Skywise, Barclays, Cisco, Halliburton Labs and bp Launchpad, exposing them to radically different ways of delivering products and value compared to the energy sector’s traditional approach.”
Leading energy service company Petrofac is one of six established energy companies participating in the programme. Sandy Merson, Operations & Maintenance Director, Petrofac: “EnergyTech has raised our awareness of the challenges startups have and how, as a larger company we can support them.
“We are moving to a formal agreement with one of the startups and with a common understanding and language have been able to deploy their technology quickly, meaning we’re also able to accelerate to a point of value creation for our customers.”
Fifteen emerging digital technology companies have participated in the first twelve month programme, including Aberdeen based eCERTO, formed in 2019 to transform financial performance of capital projects through their technology and project advisory services.
Steve Shearman, founder eCERTO, said: “It can be difficult and time consuming to get time with your potential client base to understand their challenges, EnergyTech facilitates that and puts you together with likeminded startups and technology companies to share experiences and learn from and support each other.
“EnergyTech has had a great impact on our business to date, it’s helped us understand the complexities of developing technology, and how we communicate the value that we can bring to customers and the market.”
Martin Boyle, Startup & Corporate Programmes at CodeBase explains: “What makes EnergyTech different is that we are not trying to put the startups and the incumbent companies in a position where one's pitching to the other, they're trying to learn together. What we tried to create from the beginning is a community where everybody learns at the same speed and at the same time, and the feedback has been very positive.”
“Over the course of the 12 month programme, people have a good opportunity to get to know one another and with workshops under Chatham House rules, people feel able to express opinions and share experiences. Ultimately, it is the sense of getting to know each other and creating a community which helps with that sense of trust.”
Ms Craw continued: “In 2022 we will deliver our most extensive programme ever of sector specific start-up accelerators and business growth programmes for ambitious founders and businesses owners to successfully start or scale their business. This has to be complemented with programmes like EnergyTech to drive change and remove barriers to entry in traditional industries through education and collaboration bringing together established companies and startups to learn, develop and grow together.”
Ms Craw will be a guest panellist at this year’s Barclays Eagle Labs annual Energy Tech event on 25 January. The panel will look at barriers to entry and explore what changes will make the difference and attract the best tech talent to create and deliver the tech products and solutions to support a low carbon economy.
Recruitment is underway for energy corporates and startups to join cohort 2 of EnergyTech starting in spring 2022.
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