Skim read the annual report of a major energy company from 2010 and you won’t come across many instances of the terms: 'innovation' or even 'startup'. Now, it is a different world. Even the slowest moving established energy companies (perhaps especially the slowest moving) recognise that innovation is key to survival in a changing market and that collaboration with startups is a good way to go about it.
When worlds collide: startups and the energy sector
This article series is written by Elena Bou, Innovation Director, at EIT InnoEnergy, and is focused all about why, how and where energy companies should work with startups.
The first step in an energy company collaborating with a startup is to ask itself a simple question: why? In part one of this series, we answered that from a wide-angle perspective – because the industry needs to innovate to keep up with the pace of change, and collaboration with startups appears the quickest, surest way to do so. Because the old model of fiercely guarded, siloed research has reached its limit.
The model and motivations are in alignment and all bodes well for the energy company’s collaboration with a startup. Excitement is high, as are expectations. There is one thing left to attend to though: the environment you create. Will it be a space where collaboration can thrive? Or where it will wither on the vine?