Frugal Innovation Course

Frugal Innovation in the Energy Industry

Developing and Deploying New Technologies During the Lean Times

The official dates for the Course in Digital Innovation in the Energy Industry are:

17 November 2020 time: 13-15 CET (MODULE 1 | INNOVATION)

24 November 2020 time: 13-15 CET (MODULE 2 | VALUE CO-CREATION)

1 December 2020 time 13-15 CET (MODULE 3 | TECH POSITIONING INSIGHTS)



Course overview

The oil and gas industry has become more technology-intensive over the years, and the pace of technological change within the sector is accelerating. 

At the same time, however, the sector has been buffeted by external forces that have fundamentally changed the economics of the industry.  Oil & gas and energy companies will need to be as innovative as ever, but they will have to do it with far less money and resources than they used to.

How can an organization manage the development, deployment, and use of new innovations that are emerging within the industry under this challenging business environment?

This intensive 3x2 hour course gives participants an awareness of how innovation and R&D happen within the sector and, by learning from examples of frugal innovation that have emerged in other industries, shows them how they can get better results from their organization’s innovation-related activities.

The course also equips participants with the tools and processes to get the technology deployed and maximize outcomes.


Learning Objectives

By the end of this course, participants will be able to:

  • Develop an appreciation for the role of innovation in the success of oil & gas firms

  • Understand the industry-specific challenges of R&D in the oil & gas industry.

  • Deepen their understanding of how and why the economics of the sector have changed in a way that makes frugal innovation necessary these days

  • Know how to be innovative even in a low-price or turbulent environment.

  • Understand “open innovation,” and know a few ways that they can become open innovators who successfully leverage innovations and good ideas from other organizations and industries.

  • Understand how and why technology gets deployed, including the technical and business drivers that ensure success and how to position technology accordingly.

  • Know how to use the right tools and processes to effectively address business challenges with technology.

  • Understand the critical success factors for making technology deployment happen and how to organize the technology delivery in line with these critical factors.




  • Explaining the “innovation imperative” in the energy sector

  • Specific challenges of R&D and innovating in the upstream oil & gas and energy industries

  • Doing more with less: why the oil & gas industry needs to embrace frugal innovation

  • Sources of innovation

  • Engage and iterate: learning from your customers

  • Flex your assets: how to make production lines more flexible to accommodate increasingly demanding customers

  • Create sustainable solutions: developing innovations that help business and the environment



  • Co-creating value with “prosumers”

  • Making innovative friends: “open innovation” and how to collaborate with external partners

  • Fostering a frugal culture

  • Designing your organization to maximize innovativeness



  • a digital platform for the Oil & Gas industry

  • Understand which technologies make sense in today’s world of COVID-19 and the low oil price

  • Increase the chances of success with the Tech Positioning Program: a structured dialogue around ~30 criteria grouped under 7 themes.

  • Learn how to create a balanced portfolio of digital solutions, addressing short-term needs as well as longer-term needs.

  • Best practices for presenting the case to your management and for getting the full support.

  • Course Reflection: What are your key learnings/insights? What are your key actions going forward as a result?


General Information:

  • The course is held online

  • It will host a maximum of 20 participants, as we want to ensure a great level of interaction with your tutors!

  • The Course Fee is 750€ (exc. VAT). 

    You can benefit from the Early Bird ticket discount and save your spot for 600€ (exc. VAT). The Early Bird price is valid until 31/10/2020. After that, regular price applies.

  • You will receive a certificate of attendance after completing the course.

  • You can reserve your seat by sending an e-mail to We will send a link to process the payment by credit card. If preferred, you can also do the payment by bank transfer. We will send you a confirmation the moment we have received the payment.

  • The Deployment Matters Workshop/Training

  • Read Terms&Conditions here.


Dr. Robert Perrons
Dr. Robert Perrons

Prior to joining the Queensland University of Technology in Australia as an Professor in 2011, Dr. Robert Perrons worked in a wide variety of technical and non-technical roles for Shell International’s Exploration & Production division.  In this last role, he was the company’s Executive Coordinator of R&D. 

Robert has a B.Eng. in mechanical engineering from McMaster University in Canada, a Master's degree in Technology & Policy from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and a PhD in engineering from the University of Cambridge, where he was a Gates Cambridge Scholar.  He is a Fellow of both the UK’s Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) and Engineers Australia, and is chartered as a Eur. Ing. in Europe. 

Rob is a member of the United Nations’ Resource and Energy Expert Group, and is a technical adviser to MIT's Mining, Oil & Gas Club and several energy and resource sector technology startups around the world.  He works for the Australian Government on an ad hoc basis as a member of their Expert Network, where he provides advice about the energy industry and emerging innovations in the energy sector.  He was the lead architect and researcher for the Society of Petroleum Engineers’ Global Innovation Survey in both 2012 and 2017, and has written and evangelized extensively on the topic of innovation in the oil & gas sector.

Erik Nijveld
Erik Nijveld

Erik has a strong track-record of leading the development and deployment of technology, resulting in extraordinary business outcomes. He is managing partner and co-founder of, the fastest-growing technology platform that aims to connect Oil & Energy companies with innovative technology. The platform was developed based on first-hand experience that it is often difficult for decision makers to stay up to date on available technology-driven improvement opportunities for their business. The platform helps technology providers to create more visibility for their technologies. As end-user, you have technologies at your fingertips.

Before starting, Erik worked for 19 years at Shell; in his last role, he was Technology Deployment Manager. In this role he set up Shell’s “Technology Replication Thrust for Production Excellence”, which is considered one of the most successful technology deployment vehicles that the company has ever seen. Prior to this he held various other roles related to development and deployment of technology, covering subsurface, wells as well as facilities technologies. He studied mechanical engineering at the University of Twente and received an MBA from Rotterdam School of Management.

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