Innovation and R&D
R&D spending for the last three years was: $1,093 million in 2015; $1,222 million in 2014; and $1,318 million in 2013.
Three technology hubs – in the USA, the Netherlands and India – carry out a range of technology-maturation activities: from evolutionary developments that optimise existing technologies to break-through innovations for the longer term. Elsewhere – in Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, Norway, Oman and Qatar – technical centres focus on supporting specific products and solutions as well as providing technical assistance to regional operations.
The increasingly cost-conscious business environment is a major driver for technology development and innovation. Our integrated R&D organisation oversees our technology-maturation programme, bringing together in-house expertise with that of external scientific, engineering and commercial partners – often involving their off-the-shelf technologies. This “open innovation” helps to ensure a healthy influx of new ideas and speeds up 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, and immediate and future returns. External R&D institutes and technological entrepreneurs, as well as top universities, also play an increasingly important part in our innovation efforts.
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 our 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 introduction of proven technologies from outside to inside the oil and gas 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.)