Energy Transition Campus Amsterdam: Faster together
Ferry Winter, Director Energy Transition Campus Amsterdam & General Manager Technology, Shell
It is clear that with an increasing global energy demand, reducing climate change impact, and getting in step with the Paris agreement, the world requires acceleration in the energy transition. Such acceleration requires a fast response and requires dedication in innovation in conventional technologies, new technologies, new business models, and new energy products. Innovation and partnerships become ever so important to establish a pathway into the future. Technology advancements and evolving and establishing new markets require a different approach to innovation for many companies.
For over one hundred years, Shell has done research in Amsterdam to enable its own activities.The energy transition acceleration requires change, and the momentum needs to be now. For the first time, Shell is opening its doors for start-ups, scale-ups, research institutions, and companies to work together on solutions for cleaner energy. The Shell Technology Centre Amsterdam starts a new life with a new name: Energy Transition Campus Amsterdam (ETCA). Together goes faster together.
Ambitious? “I am fully committed to making a real difference in accelerating the energy transition through innovation. In an open campus, we can make full use of existing and new partnerships.We follow the example of other campuses and aim to create a place that offers all the ingredients for an ecosystem that promotes knowledge sharing and innovation in the energy transition. Here, we can take solutions from ideation to prototype and, finally, to market and society," says Ferry Winter, Director Energy Transition Campus Amsterdam & General Manager Technology, Shell.
In June 2022, Shell and newly joined members celebrated the official opening of ETCA.The mayor of Amsterdam, Femke Halsema, formally opened the new campus, where she indicated the importance of ETCA to achieve the climate objectives. “The campus is a fine piece of work. It is an innovative, sustainable, and international location, with people from 50 different countries, very much fitting to the metropole that Amsterdam wants to be.” ETCA also aims to jointly define societal issues to work on and find solutions that can be of direct local value. “For example, we can work on local grid congestions through digital solutions and full electron value chain developments,” says Winter.
Our approach is a means to an end to make a difference in a highly complex and without one simple, single solution, but we are committed to make energy transition acceleration work through partnerships and collaboration.
Former research activities led to several breakthroughs, such as the development of the first 500 liters of sustainable, synthetic kerosene from captured carbon, water, and renewable energy for a passenger flight. A good example of a process that Shell has been optimizing for decades and that is now being used for the energy transition. In search of new solutions to the challenges in the energy transition, partners can work together within themes such as circularity, carbon capture storage and utilization, geothermal energy, renewable energy, hydrogen, electrification, low carbon fuels, and nature-based solutions. All of these are underpinned by digitalization. By bringing unique companies, academic, and knowledge institutes together, ETCA strives to become the catalyst that encourages them to work on these common themes towards a cleaner future.
How? “Open innovation requires a way to facilitate and bind companies together. Innovation will not necessarily happen naturally and requires dedication from all parties and partnerships, a key requirement to be part of ETCA. Collaboration and partnerships can drive innovation in value chains and new business models; especially being co-located, but it really depends on facilitation and various parties working on common problems. Moreover, our role for ETCA is not only to look at wider and long-term energy solutions, but also aims to jointly define societal issues to work on and find solutions that can be of direct local value. In addition, culture is very important. Diversity, equity and inclusion, an entrepreneurial mindset and the right mixture of companies and individuals set in the campus all play a part in its success. Bringing the right talent and skills to the table will be key, whilst we ensure that ETCA is creating a culture of care for people, offering an excellent working environment and values our members.”
The first members to move into ETCA are energy network company Alliander, multidisciplined engineering company IPSS, advanced technological solution provider Kongsberg, AI software provider C3.AI, Technip Energy, data intelligence company Databricks, maritime battery technology provider Corvus Energy, start-up Finno Exergy, Yokogawa, IT service provider Accenture, the Utrecht University, and developer of bio-based alternatives Vertoro.
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