“With the cluster, the industry’s challenges are made operational”

18. March 2020

The strategic partnerships of the energy sector use the Energy Innovation Cluster to give concrete shape and action to the most important technological megatrends and trends.

How do you ensure that the biggest technological challenges are also the ones that the industry spends the most time solving together?

In the energy sector, this is done by compiling a common catalog of challenges in the Energy Innovation Cluster’s work with innovation. Once a year, the three strategic industry partnerships, Megavind, Technology Committee and Smart Energy Networks, submit their recommendations to the Board of Directors of the Energy Innovation Cluster. This takes place on a common strategy day, which is to ensure that the primary agendas from the wind industry, the oil and gas industry and the energy system are represented in the innovation projects that the recommendations culminate in via the Energy Innovation Cluster.

“Megavind needs someone to turn our thoughts on an operational level. Before we got the Energy Innovation Cluster, it was very much something we were missing, ”says Per Hessellund Lauritsen, chairman of Megavind.

Megavind is the strategic superstructure in the Danish wind industry and is the platform where all stakeholders in Danish wind power can discuss, coordinate and collaborate on research, innovation and new technology.

Megavind secretariat is handled by the industry organization Wind Denmark and is a forum that sets the course – but does not execute on specific innovation projects. The Energy Innovation Cluster, on the other hand, does this, and according to Megavind’s chairman, the innovation network and the cluster organization are particularly suitable for:

“In the past, companies and universities could work well together, but it was not at all to the extent that it does today, and it happened in a narrower scope. The Energy Innovation Cluster is created as a collaboration model; it is part of the Energy Innovation Clusters DNA. Therefore, the Energy Innovation Cluster together with the universities is absolutely perfect to ensure that our recommendations also come up to fly and become concrete projects, ”says Per Hessellund Lauritsen.

Innovative together
Seen from the strategic level in the Danish oil and gas industry, a cross-cutting innovation collaboration is also valued. Ole Hansen, chairman of the Technology Committee and Head of Business Development at Total in Denmark, sees advantages in being able to unite innovation efforts as a sector. For reality is not divided, he emphasizes:

“In Denmark, we have many innovative industrial and supplier companies that work with technological solutions across the entire energy sector. That is precisely why a common innovation platform makes such good sense, which we have seen with the Energy Innovation Cluster “, says Ole Hansen:

“We all see a coherent energy system in the green transition, and we all see a need for innovation that cannot be limited by sectors. When we lift in groups and together create a strong innovation environment, we both help each other with the challenges in the individual industries and benefit from a common, innovative energy system, ”says Ole Hansen. Technology Committee is the strategic committee that discusses technological developments in the oil and gas area and is secretariat handled by the industry organization Oil Gas Denmark.

Overall innovation of the cluster
les us to use the larger amount of wind energy smarter “, says Jacob Østergaard, and points to the importance of cooperating between the sectors’ strategic bodies:

“Technology Committee, Megavind and Smart Energy Network complement each other well across and have a fine overlap. For example, Megavind’s strategy is in line with Smart Energy Networks. Together, we can ensure that the strategies are coordinated so that the solutions take into account a comprehensive energy system, ”he says.

The Energy Innovation Cluster translates the strategic recommendations into concrete innovation projects that involve both companies and researchers and other knowledge environments. Glenda Napier, CEO of Energy Innovation Cluster, sees the collaboration with the industry organizations and their strategic units as valuable: “The collaboration provides direction for our innovation projects and ensures that what we work with solves specific challenges in Denmark”, she says.