Wild ideas challenges the oil industry

Monday 16 Apr 18

Radical changes take time. Or sometimes it just takes three months to figure out whether or not a wild idea has the potential to be more than just a thought. Through time scientists have shown that they have many radical ideas with great applicability. This year there are already 30 ideas sprouting when The Danish Hydrocarbon Research and Technology Centre invites scientist and other brilliant minds to challenge the oil and gas industry with their radical ideas. Even more ideas are expected to be submitted to the sprint by the deadline 1 May 2018.

Is a radical innovation sprint possible in an academic environment with proud traditions for evidence and basic research? Without a doubt that is possible. For the first time in 2017, The Danish Hydrocarbon Research and Technology Centre (DHRTC) launched a radical innovation sprint where scientists had three months to develop their potentially wild idea towards clarification of whether or not it would sink or swim.

This resulted in 53 ideas aimed for application in the Danish part of the North Sea where 13 projects got through to the three months maturation process in 2017.

Everything from self-propelled robot technology to the recovery of valuable substances in industrial residual product to studies of transferring the principles of the carnivorous plants leafs which makes the insects slide easily into the plant were tested. This maturation process created many derived ideas and the scientists behind many of the 13 ideas applied via DHRTC’s regular funding round, where three of the scientists have been funded to develop their idea further or their derived idea.

“We are working on combining knowledge from very different disciplines in order to find new solutions on how we produce gas and oil from The Danish region of the North Sea. We reach an incredible synergy effect when we combine intense sparring between industry professionals from DHRTC and the researcher’s elaborated knowledge, which is very beneficial for both parties,” says Kristine Wille Hilstrøm, advisor at DHRTC.

Once again it is possible to test those ideas that otherwise would fall short of the normal criteria when searching for funding, which is why the researchers are currently wrecking their brains for wild and innovative ideas. 

“At the moment, we have been in dialogue with more than 40 researchers across universities all over the country and we are not done scouring the country and searching for ideas. Together with the researchers we discuss the applicability with both industry and research perspective. This process is very rewarding because we develop the ideas together and thereby create a better understanding of each other. Actually, you do not have to be a researcher to participate. Everybody can chip in/participate.” Says Kristine Wille Hilstrøm.

There are currently submitted 30 ideas for this year’s Radical Innovation Sprint. The deadline for submissions is 1 May 2018.

Facts about Radical Innovation Sprint

All applications are made anonymous before evaluated by a committee that rank the radical ideas. This year the committee is expected to consist of experienced oil and gas people, creative researchers and free radicals: people who come from other industries or has a mind-set and a drive that makes them just the right people to contribute in the selection process.

Submission response is ultimo June.

The chosen projects will be working with their idea during the fall from 1 September till 31 November. The process culminates when all of the researchers are put together with the purpose of knowledge-sharing and lifting the spirit regarding research area and methods.

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