The delivery of Shell’s business strategy depends on its ability to find oil and gas resources, to develop them into productive assets and to convert crude oil and natural gas into marketable products. The Projects & Technology organisation (P&T) marshals these abilities for Shell. In addition, it carries out the research and development (R&D) that leads to future improvements in these abilities. P&T also provides functional leadership in contracting and procurement as well as in safety. In total, more than 15,200 Shell people work in P&T technology centres, offices and sites around the globe.
Innovation and R&D
Since 2007, we have spent more to research and develop innovative technology than any other international oil and gas company. In 2014, R&D expenses were $1,222 million, slightly down from $1,318 million in 2013 and $1,307 million in 2012.
We have a global network of technical centres located close to our main markets and production sites. In Houston, USA, in Amsterdam and Rijswijk, the Netherlands, and in Bangalore, India, our technology hubs carry out a spectrum of activities: from evolutionary developments that optimise existing technologies in an innovative way to disruptive innovations that can yield breakthroughs for the longer-term future. Elsewhere – in China, Canada, Germany, Norway, Oman and Qatar – our centres focus on the development of specific products and solutions, marketing support and providing technical assistance to regional operations.
An integrated R&D organisation drives our technology development programme forward, bringing together in-house expertise with that of external scientiﬁc, engineering and commercial partners – often involving their off-the-shelf technologies. We have collaborated in this way for decades. Our “open innovation” helps to ensure a healthy inﬂux of new ideas and speeds the deployment of new technology to where it will do most good: in our operations.
We have established three main vehicles through which to harness the power of open innovation. They span short and long time horizons, nascent and mature technologies, immediate and future returns.
This programme is designed to prove quickly the commercial viability of energy-related ideas by offering a combination of proof-of-concept funding and technical expertise. Founded in 1996, it has worked with more than 1,700 innovators and turned more than 100 ideas into productive reality. (More information can be found at www.shell.com/gamechanger.)
Shell Technology Ventures
This is Shell’s corporate-venturing arm. It acts as both investor and partner in companies that are developing promising technologies with a strategic ﬁt to the demands of our businesses in the oil and gas or renewable-energy industries. (More information can be found at www.shell.com/techventures.)
The purpose of Shell TechWorks is to accelerate the deployment of proven technologies used outside our industry. Opened in 2013 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, Shell TechWorks collaborates closely with universities, applied research institutes, start-ups and venture-capitalist ﬁrms. (More information can be found at www.shell.com/techworks.)