Shell opened a new major technology hub in Bangalor, India—a 52-acre, custom-built technology centre—that can house up to 1,500 experts, who would collaboratively work on worldwide innovative energy projects. The inauguration was conducted in the presence of Chief Guest, Shri. Dharmendra Pradhan, Hon’ble Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas, Government of India, along with His Excellency Mr. Alphonsus Stoelinga, Hon’ble Ambassador of Netherlands to India; Shri. R.V. Deshpande, Hon’ble Minister for Industries, Government of Karnataka and Shri. Krishna Byre Gowda, Hon’ble Minister for Agriculture, Government of Karnataka.
Commenting on the opening of Shell Technology Centre Bangalore, Shri. Dharmendra Pradhan said, “India has an opportunity to make a significant contribution to the world’s incremental energy needs in the years ahead. Shell is developing a waste-to-fuel technology called IH2 at the Technology Centre in Bengaluru that takes only a few minutes to achieve what nature requires a million years to do. This IH2 technology can be one of the game-changers that can make my country a net exporter of energy. 1,500 young scientists of Indian origin, who will work at the Shell Technology Centre Bengaluru, are India’s contribution to meeting the world’s energy requirement.”
The Bangalore Shell Technology Centre is one of the three main technology hubs in Shell’s global network of research and development (R&D) centers, with the other two located in the Netherlands and the USA. The new centre houses a variety of technical experts, laboratories and technology demonstration units. It is home to a wide spectrum of technical disciplines and has specific expertise in fields such as liquefied natural gas, subsurface modelling, data analysis, engineering design, bitumen, distillation, water technology and enhanced computational research. The centre is also helping pioneer efforts—using its IH2 (waste-to-fuel) technology—to turn forestry, agricultural and municipal waste into transportation fuels, with a new demonstration plant being built at the site.
Harry Brekelmans, Shell’s Projects and Technology Director, present for the center’s opening, said, “Innovation and technology are vital to providing more and cleaner energy solutions for a growing world population. We consider R&D a fundamental part of Shell’s past and future success. Therefore, we continue to invest in people, projects and facilities, such as this high-tech hub. Successful innovation, however, is more than just making balanced investments. Collaboration across different disciplines and with other sectors externally is a key enabler of successful innovation. And collaboration is essential to meet our biggest challenge: timely development and deployment of the best and affordable energy solutions, for today and for the future as the world transitions to a low-carbon energy system. Our new Bangalore technology hub brings together the right people in a city that is synonymous with innovation.”
Specialists at Shell Technology Centre Bangalore work closely with experts from external industrial partners, universities and institutes. These collaborations help to ensure a healthy influx of new ideas and speed up the deployment of new technology in Shell’s operations. Examples include chemistry and catalysis research with the Indian Institutes of Technology and collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the area of advanced computing.
Nitin Prasad, Chairman of Shell Companies in India, added, “We are pleased to announce the opening of Shell Technology Centre in Bangalore, which shall function as the Asia technology hub for the Shell group. Being the third of its kind globally, it is a hallmark of Shell group’s commitment to India and to a low-carbon Indian energy future. Shell sees India as a heartland of talent, proficient at generating best-in-class ideas, insights and business models, and thus our center’s establishment is quite complementary to the government’s focus on innovation and their keenness to build world-class technological skills in India for India. The center is slated to play a prominent role in Shell India’s aspiration to custom-build a portfolio of new energy solutions specifically suited to India’s energy challenges. The IH2, waste-to-fuel, technology that we are currently piloting here in Bangalore, among other automotive solutions in fuels and lubricants, is an example of that vision coming to life. As this center becomes fully functional and scales up, we hope to work on several more pioneering technologies that will contribute to India’s and the region’s sustainable energy future.”
Sada Iyer, Vice President Engineering said, “The new STCB centre brings together R&D staff that previously worked at separate locations in Bangalore, and provides additional space for high-tech innovation and demonstration facilities. By housing all R&D staff in one centre, the technology hub will create new opportunities for multidisciplinary collaboration, and drive relevant and affordable innovations for India and the world.”
To complement the centre’s opening and the global “Make the Future” campaign, Shell brought the “#MakeTheFuture Accelerator” program to India for the first time. The competition aims to encourage and accelerate the eco-system of start-ups for the development of bright energy ideas around the world. As part of its India chapter, after contending with several other participants on parameters of innovation, sustainability, disruptive nature of entry and impact to India, Graviky Labs Pvt Ltd, a Bangalore-based start-up won this year’s competition. Their business idea is based on a retrofit technology that repurposes vehicular air pollution into art ink, known as “Kaalink.” Graviky Labs Pvt Ltd has been awarded a prize money of ₹10 lakh. The program will help the businesses to build a strong value proposition and enable them to access funding to scale.
At the event, as a testimony of Shell’s commitment to an energy-efficient future, the Shell Concept Car was showcased under “Make the Future Mobility.” The car is an efficient-concept city car co-engineered by Shell lubricants specialists, Geo Technology engine experts and Gordon Murray Design automotive designers. The three-seater Shell Concept Car runs on petrol, weighs only 550 kgs and uses 34% less energy over its entire lifetime compared to a typical petrol-powered city car. It has already completed 4,800 km on test tracks and rolling roads where it achieved a mileage of 38km/litres at the speed of 70 kmph. The ultra-compact concept car, which uses a bespoke formulation of the Shell Helix Ultra with PurePlus Technology, has been designed using the best of today’s technology to deliver reductions in lifetime energy usage. The specifically “designed” engine oil is a pioneering 0W-12 formulation and one of the very latest viscosity grades. It not only complements and enhances the overall efficiency of the vehicle, but also helps enhance fuel economy of the vehicle by 5%.
Shell states that all of the above —Shell Technology Centre, IH2, Make The Future Accelerator and Make The Future Mobility—are initiatives through which it aims to transform lives by working with investors, communities, citizens, leaders and influencers to bring more and cleaner energy to communities in India and across the world.