Backing new technology

November 7, 2005, 14:10 CET

NOK 100-200 million is being invested by Statoil every year in technology start-ups to help develop and commercialise good technical solutions, according to the latest figures.

Through its industrial development (I&K) unit, the group holds interests worth roughly NOK 1 billion in 40 companies.

It has also contributed to 150 different supplier development projects, and invests NOK 20-25 million annually in this way through the LUP supplier development programme.

Almost 1,000 jobs have been created since Statoil began working systematically on external technology commercialisation and development in the early 1990s.

This involvement is additional to activities in the group’s own research entity.

“Small companies need innovation to secure their future,” says Janne Austbø, vice president for I&K. “With our support, innovative ideas have been turned into viable products.

“The advantage to us lies primarily in the user benefit – we secure access to new and important technological solutions.”

Statoil contributes specialist expertise and funds to help develop ideas. Entities in the group which would use them are always involved to ensure that these concepts meet a need.

I&K pursues various approaches in bringing good solutions from drawing board to practical application, explains Ms Austbø.

“We invest in external companies and support them with user and commercialisation expertise.

“Our system also promotes good ideas from our own employees, and we work systematically with the supplies industry through the LUP.”

She highlights GasOptics, a company involved in gas detection, as a good example. It has been set up, but needs capital for further development.

Another case in point is EMGS, which has developed a special electromagnetic surveying technique based on ideas from researchers in Statoil.