Technology and innovation are two of the hottest topics at the 27th World Gas Conference taking place this week in Washington, DC. Amid that atmosphere in the industry, Baker Hughes has announced a plan to expand the focus of one of its most important innovation centers. The Oil & Gas Technology Center in Oklahoma City is changing its name to the BHGE Energy Innovation Center of North America as Baker Hughes, a GE company, expands the center’s role from pure research and development to include product and services innovation.
GE opened the Energy Innovation Center in 2016 as a research center serving the oil and gas industry. The 2017 merger of GE Oil & Gas with Baker Hughes placed EIC under the new joint company.
“BHGE enjoys a long history of innovation and technology leadership,” said Derek Mathieson, BHGE chief marketing and technology officer. “A new product can typically take two to three 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.”
EIC will continue to support research and development for BHGE in addition to identifying and developing technologies to expand BHGE’s products and services offerings. The center will launch startup companies and foster technology owned by BHGE.
EIC’s role will include helping its startups attract venture capital as EIC pursues its goal of becoming an establish innovation accelerator.
Current areas of interest to EIC include augmented and mixed reality technology applications for asset management; intelligent automation to boost production using machine learning; and improving oil recovery from unconventional reservoirs.
EIC facilities will host entrepreneurs and their partners from academia and technology companies to enable collaboration on new projects.
“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 Taylor Shinn, who will helm EIC and is director of ventures and growth at BHGE. “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.”