Why Good Technology Needs Great Relationships

BP, Davy use others to commercialize their FT process
| June 17, 2011

Having the intellectual property, or in some cases even a living, breathing piece of innovative and proven process technology, is great, but having the kinds of relationships that will allow others to learn, test or trust that technology is even better.

As an example, imagine for a moment that an unnamed company came out with a new, proven Fischer Tropsch process that has been tested for the past two years at a facility in Alaska. To commercialize that process, to license out that technology to other users, that company might have to hit the phones and the technology showcase circuit to spread the word. Or, if that company had the clout, and the means to create the right relationships, it could just have other companies spread the word for them. That’s exactly what BP and Davy Process Technologies just did with their FT process, proving that good technology gets better with the right partners.

BP signed on with three engineering, procurement and construction contractors, CB&I Lummus UK Ltd., Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. and the Shaw Group, to “seek deployment opportunities” for the process, BP says of the collaborations. Mark Howard, BP’s vice president for conversion technology, says “their involvement will help with the early identification and evaluation of opportunities…to support potential licensees.” This arrangement serves as a reminder that a great technology is largely about the people behind it.  —Luke Geiver