Cluster Insight with Glex
– Simply said; we are trying to utilize the 50 years of data, experience and expertise from the Norwegian oil and gas industry to build new technology for industries with the same need for understanding the ocean, seabed and subsurface, says Jørgen Engen Napstad.
Cluster Insight is a column where we ask six questions to catch a glimpse into the daily business-lives of the partners and members of GCE Ocean Technology.
This week we have spoken with Jørgen Engen Napstad to learn more about him and his work in Glex; where software developers from the gaming industry develop advanced analysis and collaboration tools for energy and industrial companies.
1. What is your role in Glex?
I am the CEO and one of the co-founders of Glex AS. I have worked with Glex in multiple roles, all the way back to 2017 when it was still an internal development project in the energy company M Vest Energy.
It has been an incredibly educational and interesting journey, to follow the project from a proof-of-concept, through a pilot project with Aker BP, all the way to a commercial company with multiple employees and customers.
2. Your primary focus at work right now is?
Glex recently raised capital and is in the process of scaling up, so recruitment is one of my biggest priorities right now.
We are building a development and data-science team in Bergen and Oslo, with enthusiastic, innovative and skilled people. Over the next months, we are hoping to find 3-5 developers and a UX designer. I am really excited about this and can’t wait to start onboarding new colleagues to the development of our product Glex Energy. Recruitment is fun, but lots of work. Luckily, our fellow cluster member Shairskills, helps with the recruitment process.
In the first years of development, I wrote a lot of the code that ended up being our product. These days, I don’t have much time for programming, and I spend most of my time on product development, sales and business development, in addition to recruitment. But every now and then I try squeezing in a line or two of coding as well.
3. Biggest challenges and opportunities for Glex in the future?
Finding the right people is a challenge in the near future. But once we have completed our dream-team with the right people, we believe that we will have something quite unique. Our background from game development, oil and gas exploration and geology have given us a specific innovative mindset that we use when we develop our products.
Our goal as a company is to accelerate the data-driven energy transition through cross-over industry solutions, by utilizing vast amounts of data from current and emerging technologies and sources, specifically related to the subsurface. Simply said; we are trying to utilize the 50 years of data, experience and expertise from the Norwegian oil and gas industry to build new technology in industries that share the same data foundation and have the same need for analytics and understanding of the ocean, seabed and subsurface.
One part of this is expanding our product Glex Energy from being primarily targeting the oil and gas industry, to also targeting and benefiting the carbon capture and storage, offshore wind and deep sea minerals industries. Another part of it is building an ecosystem of complementary partners, within data, design, development, IoT, and more.
We are also developing what we call our “Customer Knowledge Framework” which includes partners within seismic and EM (electromagnetic) technology, research, mineralogy, geochemistry and more.
All readers are free to come for a coffee and a chat if you think we could potentially be partners.
4. Best part of being member in a cluster?
Access to networking and events, as well as the ability to get input from talented advisors.
Research-driven innovation is one of the key factors four our success.
Being part of GCE Ocean Technology also strengthens the research and innovation applications that we have in the pipeline in addition to having a partner network for our projects.
We are looking forward to presenting Glex at a breakfast meeting or in another context this year.
5. Your business/life motto
“The mind that opens to a new idea never returns to its original size.” I try to learn something new every day, and I encourage our employees to learn new things and grow professionally.
I had the opportunity to learn programming “on the job”, while working for clients some years ago, and it changed the path of my career. I’m also very fortunate to have several good mentors in my network and on my board, which I learn a lot from. This motto also fits very well with a core part of our strategy, where we try to teach the programmers about geology, and our geologists about game-development, to “bridge the gap” between development, data science and geoscience.
6. Which cluster member should we interview next?
I think GAIA Global seems like a really interesting company, and I would like to learn more about them.
Thank you for the insight Jørgen.
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