Shell wants to invest in Open Innovation

Shell indicates to be willing to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in technology-oriented companies for the next 6 to 8 years. according to The website has published to following text (translated):

This step helps Shell to enable the use of innovations on new projects, according to the company.

Shell refers (amongst others) to the technology that enables the company to apply their resources more thoughtfully and smarter in their quest for oil and gas and in the improvement of the process of obtaining gas and oil. The investments are categorized under Shell Technology Ventures. ,,Ideas from outside our organisation are of great importance in the exploitation of R&D.. We want to be enable the brightest to develop plans and let them take advantage of our expertise and global impact of our company in order to use these technologies as quickly as possible on our projects”, according to the chief technology officer Gerald Schotman.

Besides investing in promising technological companies, Shell wants to focus on so-called spin-outs, organisational assets that become independent and on funds of venture capitalists.

As such a great example of Open Innovation in practise.

Europe dominates Global Competitiveness Report

Europe dominates Global Competitiveness Report

Switzerland keeps its prime position in the list and Singapore stays second. Switzerland is renowned for its high investment in Research and Development and highly integrated collaboration efforts between business and knowledge institutes. In Singapore the main factors mentioned are the professional attitude and efficiency of the government. The top 5 is completed with two Scandinavian countries – Sweden and Finland, because of their investments in innovation and their outstanding integration between higher education and companies and The Netherlands.


One of the new-comers in the Top 5 are The Netherlands, according to the recently published report by the World Economic Forum. The last time they were part of the Top 5 was in 2000. The Netherlands score particularly high on “advanced technology” and “innovation” and is therefore one of the most innovative countries of the world this year.  The figure below shows the competitiveness of The Netherlands over the years:


The report has taken into account a bunch of different factors, grouped among the following aspects:

  • Institutions
  • Infrastructure
  • Macro-economical environment
  • Health and prime school
  • Higher education and training
  • Efficiency of the goods market
  • Efficiency of the labour market
  • Development of the financial markets
  • Technological consciousness
  • Market size
  • Business environment
  • Innovation

Spreaded across the different aspects, several different factors in the field of innovation have been studied and depicted in the report. For instance, The Netherlands score as followed on those factors:


The following factors translate as: capacity for innovation, quality of scientific institutes, expenditures on R&D, R&D-related collaboration between universities and companies, governmental procurement of advanced technological products, availability of knowledge workers and intelectual property/patents.

For more information (in Dutch only) you can download the report of the Rotterdam School of Management.

Google expands Start-up University

Started in early 2009, Google Ventures has seen an increasing number of successful investments over recent years. As part of the program Google Ventures launched a Start-up Lab program to create an innovation lab; a place where entrepreneurs can develop their products, collaborate and tap into google employees. Moreover, to develop in-depth knowledge, Google Ventures created the Start-up University, a place where entrepreneurs “can bring questions, curiosity and unsolved problems to the table.”

This University program has been a huge success, according to Bill Maris, Google Ventures’ managing partner: “This is a program that people are vigorously signing up for,” Maris said. “We have a waiting list of teachers, and these are all people who have started companies before, and who have been there. We can’t feed this stuff to our portfolio companies fast enough,” so he said to the Wall Street Journal. Therefore, Google Ventures is expanding: from 1100 m2 to 2250 m2 in the near future. The total amount of capital has grown from 100 million dollar annually in 2009 to 200 million dollar annualy in 2012.


Some of the most successful results of Google Ventures are the exits of HomeAway vacation rental services and gaming company Ngmoco who exited for 400 million dollar each last year. Another company, Silver Spring Networks, developing smart grids, went public last year.

Read the full article here.