In line with the Modi government’s initiative — ‘Start-up India, the country’s leading public sector oil companies including the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), Indian Oil and Oil India Ltd (OIL) have announced start-up funds, the combined corpus of which has already reached Rs 180 crore.
The aim of these start-up funds is to incubate and nurture new ideas related to the oil and gas sector.
More oil and gas PSUs including HPCL, BPCL, GAIL are also expected to announce launch of similar start-up funds to nurture promising start-ups in the domestic hydrocarbons sector.
The first to take a lead on this front was India’s largest oil and gas exploration and production company –ONGC Ltd that announced an Rs 100 crore Start-up fund.
The initiative was christened as ‘ONGC Start-up’.
As part of this initiative, ONGC will provide the entire support chain for start-ups including seed capital, hand-holding, mentoring, market linkage and follow-ups.
“This initiative will promote entrepreneurship among the younger Indians by creating an ecosystem that is conducive for growth of Start-ups in the oil & gas sector, which has a huge potential for technology-enabled ideas,” said ONGC CMD Mr. Dinesh K Sarraf after launching the fund on August 14, 2016.
Coming a month later, state-run Oil India Ltd also announced a Rs 50 crore OIL start-up fund aimed at similar objectives.
Utpal Bora, Chairman and Managing Director, said that the OIL Start-up fund shall focus on promoting entrepreneurship amongst youth, especially of the North East India, by enabling the growth of startups for addressing various technical challenges and operational risks of the oil and gas industry and encouraging innovative thinking amongst the present and future generations.
The latest to launch another Rs 30 crore Start-Up Fund is by India’s largest oil refining and marketing company– IndianOil Corp.
Indian Oil Corporation’s start-up scheme (IndS_UP) with a revolving corpus fund of Rs. 30 crore will promote promising start-ups and nurture an eco-system conducive for innovations in the domestic hydrocarbons sector.
Driven by IndianOil’s Research & Development Centre based at Faridabad, the scheme will support projects that aim to establish innovative technology and business process re-engineering ideas with significant business potential, social relevance and focussed on environment-protection.
The start-up scheme will be administered through a dedicated online portal and shall facilitate the community of innovators, entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs. It will help them pursue their promising ideas right up to validated proof of concept (PoC) by funding the incubation ecosystem and through intellectual mentoring.
IndianOil may further aid in the commercialisation of select validated PoCs through equity participation. Citizens of Indian origin willing to work in India besides individuals affiliated to academic institutions having incubation centres approved by the Central Government, or intrapreneurs from IndianOil can apply under the scheme.
To begin with, IndianOil will float the first round of open Innovation Challenge by way of an Expression of Interest (EoI) to select 9 proposals in the domain of Technology Process Re-engineering (TPRE) and 6 proposals in the domain of Business Process Re-engineering (BPRE). The proposals received will be subjected to a 2-level screening and the shortlisted one shall be incubated with the required physical and intellectual support till they reach PoC stage. The project owners shall be supported with grants of up to Rs. 2 crore per project during this period.
The areas identified by the start-up scheme under Technical Process Re-engineering (TPRE) are:
- Low-cost efficient vapour recovery system at fuel stations.
- Innovative re-refining of used lubricating oils without solvent/acid treatment.
- Low-cost production of Hydrogen.
- Low-cost process for desalination of sea water.
- Innovative schemes for ensuring zero effluents from oil refineries.
- Molecular modelling/design of the inter-phase molecule for dispersion of nano-material in HC media.
- Environment-friendly disposal of insulation material like ceramic blankets, glass wool, etc.
- LPG cylinder safety aspects.
The aim of ‘ONGC Start-up’ is to increase the contribution of fresh implementable ideas in the oil and gas sector. ONGC is setting up a dedicated website to take this initiative forward.
To encourage its own employees to innovate, ONGC is also giving away awards to its three young officers for their innovative ideas. Rajendra Bhambhu and Deepak Naik have developed an innovative Safety Device for rigs that facilitates setting up of emergency brake to augment safety mechanism on drilling rigs. Prajesh Chopra has innovated a unique Dual SIM Cellular Router System that provides Data Connectivity at Work-over Rigs. This system curtails the hassle of frequent dismantling and reinstallation during rig transportation, thus saving time and money.