Baker Hughes said that its Oil & Gas Technology Center in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA, is expanding its focus from traditional research and development to launching new products and services into the marketplace as startups.
The Center, which opened in 2016, will be renamed the BHGE Energy Innovation Center of North America to reflect its new role as what the company calls an innovation accelerator for the energy industry.
“BHGE enjoys a long history of innovation and technology leadership,” said Derek Mathieson, BHGE chief marketing & technology officer. “A new product can typically take 2-3 years before it can be available and put to use at a customer site. The unique challenges and evolving needs of our customers in North America require a new approach, so we have repositioned the Center to dramatically accelerate technology development for better customer outcomes.”
The Energy Innovation Center (EIC) will have the resources to test, launch and scale new solutions fast, the company said. In addition to continuing to support traditional BHGE enterprise technology development, scientists and researchers at the EIC will:
Search for or develop transformational technology that will augment or expand BHGE’s products and services.
Create startups or “incubators” that use new and existing BHGE technologies.
Connect successful BHGE startups with external venture capital partners.
Establish the EIC as an innovation accelerator and collaborator to partners in technology, academia and the investment community.
Examples of incubator projects targeted to North American customers include the application of augmented and mixed reality technology to enhance asset management; using intelligent automation in the field to increase production through machine learning; and providing fullstream enhanced oil recovery services for unconventional reservoirs.
Technology and academic partners, as well as entrepreneurs, will co-locate and set-up work spaces at the EIC to enhance collaboration on new projects.
Taylor Shinn, a member of the Center’s leadership team since 2014 who serves as Director of Ventures and Growth at BHGE, has been appointed to lead the EIC. “We believe that Oklahoma City, with its deep roots in the energy industry and proximity to North America customers, is the ideal backdrop for truly disruptive innovation,” said Shinn. “We want to continue to build a technology ecosystem here that encourages the pursuit of ideas, regardless of where they originate, so long as they add value to our customers and support our corporate purpose: to invent smarter ways to bring energy to the world.”
The company announced that Mike Ming, who championed the effort to locate the R & D center in Oklahoma City and served as its general manager since 2014, will retire at the end of July. Baker Hughes said that Ming built a solid leadership team at the Center and helped instill a strong collaborative culture that thrives today.
Conceived in 2013, the Energy Innovation Center opened in 2016 as a GE Global Research Center for the oil and gas industry. Since that time, the Center became part of GE Oil & Gas, and with the subsequent merger with Baker Hughes in July 2017, part of BHGE. It is one of 10 BHGE technology centers globally.