Equinor: Fruitful collaborations
Through partnership in GCE Ocean Technology, Equinor can strengthen its own technology and help smaller suppliers access the market.
– GCE Ocean Technology has a wide reach within the ocean industries. So does Equinor. During the latest years, we have expanded our business into new value chains, for instance within offshore wind. The cluster has strong individual suppliers and the cluster in itself has a strong footing within these new value chains. To be a part of this is of interest to us. We have a very good dialogue, which may lead to fruitful collaborations, says Christian Collin-Hansen, Leading Advisor, Climate and Environmental Technology at Equinor.
Wants to help
Via the cluster, Equinor can seize on innovative technology from small businesses that don’t have the strength to bring their products to the market.
To achieve this, they need collaboration partners, and in this instance Equinor possesses the required resources. Most of Equinor’s research and technology development is conducted in collaboration with external institutions, both in Norway and internationally.
– Our strength is industry experience to scope what we need and where we want solutions. If we manage to communicate this to those able to develop what we need, we have paved the way for a sound collaboration. We are most definitely a buyer of such technology, and we wish to contribute to bringing it forth. If being part of a cluster instead of collaborating with one actor at a time creates added value, we will join. The cluster’s strength is precisely that it’s easier to tie small businesses with just a few employees and a good idea to the large companies.
Access to innovative sensor-based technology is another example of a collaboration Equinor would be interested in being part of. The company is obliged to monitor marine eco-systems, and traditionally would have to sail ships and crews to these areas. Transport burns fuel, emits CO2 and affects the marine environment, and transporting staff at sea also involves risk.
– With sensor-based technology we can be present and feel the pulse of the environment to a larger extent than before. If we can use real time technologies and autonomous vessels for this job, it would be very helpful. This is a major area for our department and Equinor, and GCE Ocean Technology is a strong player in this field and has contributed interesting technology, says Mona Låte, leader for the environmental technology competence centre.
She points out that one of Equinor’s largest challenges concerning external environments is that the company’s ambitions to have a positive effect on the environment. Simply being neutral is no longer enough and documenting the company’s impact on the environment is an extensive process. New ways of thinking and collaborations between different fields and industries are useful for developing new solutions.
– We recognize that we need to bring in someone who can facilitate such contacts, whether it is GCE Ocean Technology or individual companies in the cluster. The cluster is vital for the establishment of these networks, and it is a major advantage that we can establish contact with companies who have previously come up with ideas and are attempting to reach the market, says Låte.
Assist with testing
She emphasizes that Equinor, on the strength of its size and extensive operations, can assist the cluster companies in testing the technologies they are developing.
– We have available industrial infrastructure where we can facilitate for the cluster companies to test their technologies and reduce the time from an idea takes form and until it can be realized.
Equinor is an international energy company committed to long-term value creation in a low-carbon future. Our purpose is to turn natural resources into energy for people and progress for society.
Equinor is one of 18 partners from industry, R&D, academia and public bodies, which has recently signed a new 5-year agreement with GCE Ocean Technology.
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