Two Aberdeen start-up companies – which have developed technologies aimed at saving the oil and gas industry money – have awarded £140,000 in Scottish EDGE funding to take their products to the next level.

Brothers Ed and Richard Nimmons, of Dry Ice Scotland, secured £100,000 worth of funding, while Tristam Horn, of Deepwater Oil Tools, was awarded £40,000 at a live business pitching event.

Scottish EDGE is a £1.27million fund which aims to support and encourage entrepreneurial activity within Scotland. Previously run by Scottish Enterprise, the fund is now managed by The Hunter Foundation and RBS.

Twenty-two of Scotland’s most promising entrepreneurs pitched their businesses to an expert panel of judges in order to win up to £100,000 each in grant funding and loans.

The panel of judges, which was chaired by Lord Smith of Kelvin, chose fifteen businesses as winners on the day, including Dry Ice Scotland and Deepwater Oil Tools.

The Nimmons recently completed the intensive Accelerator Programme, which is run by Aberdeen-based social enterprise Elevator.

Ed Nimmons said the money will be used to build the Aberdeen-based company’s new equipment, which is aimed at the oil and gas and petrochemical industries.

The first such equipment of its kind, it will very quickly be put to use on long term trials in the UK.

“We use frozen pellets of carbon dioxide for blasting to remove corrosion, coatings and other contaminants, so it is environmentally friendly.

“Dry ice blasting creates zero waste, resulting in saving time and money compared to conventional means. It’s also safer and is carbon neutral because the CO2 we use comes from recycled sources.”

Meanwhile, Deepwater Oil Tools has developed SeaCure Cementing, a cost efficiency service for the oil and gas drilling industry, which makes cementing operations for well construction quicker and with less risk, while also making subsequent drilling runs significantly faster.

Business director Tristam Horn said that he applied for the Scottish EDGE funding in order to help build a business development team to assist with client engagement and supporting the numerous service enquiries from drilling operators.

“The money we were awarded will be used to employ business development engineers, resourcing them adequately to service the enquiries for SeaCure Cementing and build strong client relationships.”

“Elevator has provided key networking opportunities, dispersing SeaCure Cementing around the North Sea and giving invaluable pitch training to help secure the funding for the business.”

Elevator’s Accelerator Programmes were first launched in 2015, and are for ambitious early-stage business owners and teams seeking to improve their business.

Elevator chief executive professor Gary McEwan, said: “During this challenging time for the north east, and in particular the oil and gas industry, these two businesses are perfect examples of how successful entrepreneurs best adapt to change.

“Both have developed products and services for oil and gas service companies to enable cost cutting and dynamic thinking within the industry.

“They have also utilised the learning and embraced the opportunities from the Accelerator Programme to master the art of successful pitching for investment. We could not be more delighted for their continued success in winning both funding and contracts.”

(EnergyVoice 27.06.16)