Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Intelligent Energy 2016: If you’re going to fail, do it quickly, Baker Hughes scientist says

According to Westwood Global, Baker Hughes tops the pile for emissions reduction targets, followed by Schlumberger.
According to Westwood Global, Baker Hughes tops the pile for emissions reduction targets, followed by Schlumberger.

If you must fail, do it quickly.

That’s the advice for R&D teams from a chief scientist at a US oil service firm.

Sven Krueger, who heads up research teams at Baker Hughes, said the firm’s innovators were thinking outside the box to get results during the downturn.

And while the approach can lead to setbacks, the end result often justifies the means.

“If you run a big company like Baker Hughes there is a need to have standard procedures to protect the environment and make sure we work in a safe way,” Mr Krueger said on the sidelines of the SPE Intelligent Energy conference.

“But we need to have flexibility to let our R&D team go and try out new things. It’s called blue sky research. They can fail, but hopefully they fail early and in a controlled way.”

Mr Krueger said a less structured approach could be useful as it opened the door to “disruptive innovation” – a term widely accepted to mean innovations that create new markets.

The approach appears to be working. Baker Hughes has taken more than 50 new products to market in the last year, proving there are plenty of opportunities even under the current cost pressures.

Mr Krueger said: “Cost pressures have delayed a lot of projects but on the other side, for us, I don’t think we have become less innovative. Just the opposite.”

“When people become more focused and reach out to expertise outside the company, the effect is that we get the project done much faster, and that’s what we’ve done.”

Mr Krueger also said the industry had an issue with classification, and was getting the terms innovation and invention mixed up.

Mr Krueger, who has had more than 30 patents granted in his career, said: “When we say innovation we need to be clear what we mean. People tend to confuse invention and innovation.

“Innovation is when you take a new idea to market and create value. It does not need to involve an invention.

“It can be a new process or business model, or a combination of existing technologies.

“There are plenty of opportunities you can go after.”

Recommended for you

More from Energy Voice

Latest Posts