Shell Launches Innovation Studio

A new open innovation studio aims to use crowdsourcing to redefine the future of oil and gas exploration.

Source: Shell

Shell has launched Studio X, which it describes as a first-of-its-kind open innovation studio to reimagine the future of work in exploration. The announcement came from Austin, Texas, where the studio will have its first physical location. According to Shell, Studio X will begin with three initial offerings focused on exploration and discovery.

  • Xeek will enable crowdsourcing of geoscience ideas by uniting data scientists and geoscientists from all over the world in a community dedicated to tackling complex problems. The company solicits input for “featured challenges” such as machine-predicted lithology and seismic fault mapping.
  • XCover is a global talent network for virtual exploration projects that functions by matching specialized geoscience talent to a variety of exploration projects run from state-of-the-art virtual workstations, enabling projects to be executed from anywhere in the world at any time. Descriptions of open projects in need of skilled participants are listed, interested people contact XCover to join projects and discuss the position with the project lead and team, and remote work is enabled by data and software provided from the project sponsors.
  • SixLab is described as a Shell-powered incubator that provides exploration entrepreneurs with access to world-class mentorship, resources, and facilities to help accelerate ideas to a commercial pilot. Startups in SixLab’s pilot program receive dedicated support to showcase their proposal to potential customers.

"Studio X brings tech advances at a challenging time for exploration and the global economy," said Mauhan Zonoozy, acting general manager of Studio X. "The technology within will lead to better ways of working in the exploration field—increasing collaboration and ultimately improving outcomes. Studio X will fuel big ideas, connect a network of global talent with remote work opportunities, empower and guide entrepreneurs and startups, and crowdsource bold solutions to make the ideas of today into the industry-leading tools of tomorrow."
"Studio X was developed by Shell to reimagine the future of work in exploration," said Marc Gerrits, Shell's executive vice president of global exploration. "To meet increasing global energy demand, oil and gas will remain an element of the energy mix for decades to come. By harnessing efficiencies, embracing new technologies, and deploying digital capabilities, Studio X will be at the forefront as the exploration profession evolves."

In addition to its first physical studio located in Austin, Studio X offers remote work opportunities that eliminate geographic constraints and enable scientists, researchers, and innovators to participate on their own terms, either between projects or as a full-time endeavor, said Michael Tischer, exploration geoscientist and XCover explorer-in-residence.

According to the news announcement, “In launching Studio X, Shell (or potentially third-party project sponsors) offers real-world projects with data to an untapped worldwide network of scientists, entrepreneurs, and tech leaders—crowdsourcing ideas and nurturing companies to usher in a new chapter in exploration.”