The department of Strategic innovation within BU R&D projects is covering two main tasks.
Firstly, to increase the effectiveness and maximize the value of the projects within R&D by providing support on dimension that are present in multiple projects (e.g. how to tackle intellectual property) and standard tasks (e.g. project administration). Secondly, it covers the exploratory research, scouting technologies that are currently not deployed by Vattenfall. The aim is to identify general attractive-ness of these new technologies and identify its value chain to facilitate Vattenfall to consider taking a role in deploying it going forward.
Technology Assessment programme (TAP)
The Technology Assessment programme (TAP) is complementing the other R&D departments of Vattenfall by looking to scout technologies that are currently not core technology development, meaning the commercial technologies of today, or technology leaps, referring to those that hopefully will be commercial relatively soon.
Examples of TAP, in the sense of exploratory research, are energy storage, geothermal power and heat production, industrial size heat pumps, or distributed generation technologies. The aim of the programme is to understand the market penetration potential of the chosen technology, including defining critical success factors to also put a time frame in place. The results of the TAP will be shared with relevant Business Units within Vattenfall to jointly discuss the potential of new business in relation to the new technologies.
The TAP will also cover new technologies that do not naturally fit within Vattenfall’s current offer or core market structure, but are nevertheless important to understand. These technologies can either offer attractive synergies with Vattenfall activities, or enter a market from a blind angle. Examples include biomass as transportation fuels, or integrated solar cells in windows.
Part of the TAP is interaction with inventors and scientists. Vattenfall is approached frequently by inventors and others, proposing new technologies to could be of interest to Vattenfall. The role of Strategic Innovation is to assess the attractiveness of proposed technologies, which could balance and cross-fertilise the pro-active technology assessment as described.
The aim of the Capability Development Programme is to maximize the value of our R&D resources by:
- Coordinating the various platforms on which we execute part of our R&D project portfolio with partners. Examples of such platforms or partnerships are cooperation with universities, KicInnoEnergy, and R&D executed by branch organizations as the Swedish Elforsk. Each platform has specific strengths, and depending on the goals of the specific project, Strategic Innovation will assist in finding the appropriate platform. To ensure the advices are up-to-date, the department is involved in running projects on various platforms, and to gather learnings of all R&D activities within the cooperation platforms.
- Coordinating elements of R&D projects that are common across multiple technologies. An example is Intellectual Property (IP) rights. When looking into new technologies it is important to be aware of potential existing IP and understand how to handle potential new ones.
- Channeling information from and to EU on new technologies. It is important that Vattenfall understands and aligns with EU on the regulatory and market setup needed to enable new and renewable technologies to come to fruition. This also includes tracking on-going standardization work and being involved.
- Continuously look at new tools and methods used when executing Vattenfall R&D activities. For example use the internet to involve external competence through a competition or such; to dig deeper into the understanding the potential of Asia; or to create industry benchmarking.
The Capability Development Programme is an integral part of the other R&D activities. Strategic Innovation is active within the different on-going projects to provide access to a generic competence set, and to transfer process knowledge to other projects. The Manage-ment Team of BU R&D projects forms a Steering Committee to further ensure the application of the capability development competences achieved. This should ensure maximization of value of invested resources in R&D activities and should avoid repeating errors, sub-optimisation, or other inefficiencies.
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