When technological innovation has value, we can break free from the norms

2. February 2021

New technological solutions and value-creating innovation are crucial for development. With joint innovation projects, we can accomplish much across industries and sectors.

Contribution to a debate by Glenda Napier, CEO of Energy Cluster Denmark

Tests of drone inspection at the Shell Refinery in Fredericia have shown that there is potential in investing in drones in the energy sector. Offshore Operating Drones, which is an Energy Cluster Denmark innovation project focused on the potential and use of drones, documents that drones can be used for inspections and monitoring pipes and tanks. For example, at the Shell Refinery, it can save time, increase the quality of the inspection and reduce risk, and these are just the immediate benefits. The example shows the potential of drones and emphasises the value of us working together to create innovation.

In this specific innovation project, the partner circle is made up of ESVAGT, Wind Power LAB, Upteko and the Danish National Metrology Institute (DFM), with partner agreements with Shell and contributions from Lorenz in the early project phase. Furthermore, when you gather such a group to solve a common innovation challenge, something happens.

I wish to bring particular attention to Erik Nicolai Christensen, one of the technological measurement specialists at DFM, who underlines the pleasure of helping to create value. In his words:

“It is every researcher’s dream to see the technologies and measurement techniques that have been developed and tested in the laboratory come to fruition and create concrete value for companies and contribute to creating value in society.”

It is precisely the value-creation and the big picture that is important to keep in mind. There is plenty of innovation, but it can take a long time for innovation to make a difference and move an industry or a sector forward. In the Offshore Operating Drones project, innovative companies with very different backgrounds are collaborating to solve a challenge that the industry faces, and the interdisciplinary collaboration is realising the potential – right from concept to commercial solution.

I am certain that we can dare to put innovation projects under the spotlight and take the acid test that innovation projects are not just nice, but a necessity, and that we can realistically end up with a sustainable business model.

Sought-after innovation that creates value is a key element if we are to develop the solutions that break free from the norms across industries and sectors.