#241: Energy.tech: Ragnhild Ulvik: Samarbeide om å innovere - LØRN.TECH


#241 – Samarbeid for innovasjon

Expørt: Ragnhild Ulvik

Vice President Corporate Innovation

fra Equinor

Med lørner Silvija Seres

Hvordan skal man løse verdens energibehov fremover? Og hvordan utvikler og klekker man ut nye risikable ideer fra egne ansatte i en så etablert bedrift som Equinor? I denne episoden av #LØRN snakker Silvija med Vice President Corporate Innovation i Equinor, Ragnhild Ulvik, om Corporate Innovation og hvordan vi må bruke begge hendene fremover. 

Noen kjappe med ekspørt Ragnhild Ulvik

Ragnhild Ulvik


Job title
Vice President Corporate Innovation 


Who are you and how did you become interested in energy technology?
I grew up in Bergen and now live in Oslo with my French husband and one-year-old twin daughters. I particularly enjoy the international aspects of energy technology: meeting new people, getting to know new cultures and speaking different languages. I am also fascinated by all the opportunities technology offers to solve the massive challenges we face as a society.  

What is your role at work?
I am head of innovation at Equinor. We explore how to solve the world’s energy needs for the future. We pilot and incubate new ideas and work with start-ups and partners to learn, implement technology and develop new business models that help our business evolve. 

 What are the most important concepts in energy technology?
Everything within digitalisation is opening up a range of new opportunities. We have, for example, partnered with other companies to explore what blockchain could mean for the energy business.  

I also think that the ocean space offers promising opportunities. Just imagine what we can do with the collective expertise and decades of experience of the different players in the “Norwegian ecosystem”. As an example, we are currently working with a group of students to explore alternative uses for oil platforms when production ends.

Why is this exciting?
I get to help solve big challenges facing not only my company but society. And we work with truly inspiring people who are passionate about what they do. That energises me.

What do you think are the most interesting controversies?
Personally, I think it is both interesting and scary to think about how far technology can take us and where we should draw the line. As digital technologies develop, we face unforeseeable ethical dilemmas. And technology seems to develop faster than our ability to understand its consequences.  

What is your own favourite example of energy technology?
We just finished an in-house incubation programme involving more than 60 different business model ideas from around the world. The teams pitched their idea and competed against each other to win the challenge. There were so many ambitious teams and great ideas and I loved seeing how they collaborated across disciplines and nationalities. Six ideas were chosen to get incubation funding. Hopefully, we can show concrete results from their efforts soon. 

Can you name any other good examples, nationally or internationally?
I find Equinor’s floating wind turbine, Hywind, a fascinating example. A distant dream not so long ago, floating offshore wind is now the most viable and mature solution, with Hywind Scotland being the world’s first floating wind farm. It’s a great example of how existing offshore competencies can be effectively combined with new technologies and innovative minds.  

Another interesting example is Gudbrandsdal Energi’s experimental work on using drones to inspect power cables. You can imagine what that does to the efficiency of inspecting kilometres of power cables!

How do you usually explain energy technology, in simple terms?
To me, energy technology is about providing energy to people in an efficient and sustainable way. I feel the scope of energy technology is expanding. The shift from almost exclusively focusing on oil and gas, towards electrification and renewable energy, is opening up a much wider space to explore.

Is there anything unique about what we do in this field here in Norway ?
We have a unique collaborative culture and being able to collaborate in new ways will be critical to solving global challenges such as climate change and population growth. 

Can you recommend any good material to read/view on energy technology?
I thoroughly enjoyed listening to your podcasts Silvija when I was on maternity leave recently and walked for hours with my daughters in their buggy! Apart from that, I am a fan of engaging with people face to face. 

Do you have a favourite energy technology quote?
Although not specifically related to our field, I like this African proverb about how we need to approach the challenges of tomorrow: “If you want to go fast – go alone. But if you want to go far – go together.”  

What do you think is the most important takeaway from our conversation?
Diverse and multi-disciplinary teams with great competencies and passion can create great things. That being said – it is everyone’s responsibility to take part in the energy transition to drive our society forward. I would like to challenge our listeners today to think about how they can contribute – and then act on it! 


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