Grey Matters initiative to harness oil, gas expertise to create viable new businesses


ABERDEEN -- A transformative initiative which brought together redundant but highly experienced oil and gas professional, to create and launch exciting, innovative and scalable businesses is aiming to build on its success, as applications open for the third program.

The latest Grey Matters program, a joint initiative from Elevator, Scottish Enterprise and the Oil and Gas Technology Centre (OGTC), will get underway on November 15.

Grey Matters aims to drive the future of energy in Scotland by bringing together the experience and knowledge of ambitious individuals, from the oil and gas sector who are either redundant or willing to commit to a new challenge and supporting them to work together to create high growth businesses.

Up to 25 participants will take part in idea generation, innovation and start-up workshops so a business idea is not essential, although applicants must be able to commit to a 16-week intense experience at Elevator's Centre of Entrepreneurship in Bridge of Don, Aberdeen.

As a social enterprise, Elevator works across Scotland to help facilitate the start-up, acceleration and growth of new and existing businesses.

Following a pilot program in 2017, a second Grey Matters program ran earlier this year, leading to the creation of six scalable businesses. Each of the innovations and technology proposed (or being developed) by Windstorm, Evadne Immersive, C-NumeriC, Resolute, MarineJoule and Sentinel Subsea has the potential to transform the global energy sector.

John Harris, Grey Matters' program lead, said the team could not have predicted the runaway success of the scheme.

Collaboration both within the cohort of participants and with external partners will be encouraged and there will be a strong emphasis on networking and engaging with local and global experts and mentors.

Topics covered will include business planning, globalisation, marketing, fundraising, team management and intellectual property.

The Grey Matters initiative forms part of a joined-up approach to secure a pipeline of innovators and new business start-ups that will cement the energy supply chain in the north-east of Scotland.

Graduates from the program are ideally positioned to establish themselves and apply to the TechX accelerator run by the OGTC, which offers funding up to £100,000 to start-ups with new technology ideas, expert mentors and global partners to develop and validate new technologies.

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