Good Governance: effective use of IT

Written evidence submitted by Industry Technology Facilitator (IT 68)

Established in 1999 by Oil and Gas Companies, ITF (Industry technology Facilitator) was developed as a joint programme involving the Government and the UK oil & gas Industry - Operators, Contractors, Suppliers, Trade Unions and SME's - aiming to secure the long-term future of the Industry in the UK. This was in recognition of the dramatic fall in oil prices at the time, the maturity of the UKCS, and the urgent need to reduce the cost base of activity in the basin.

A new approach was required to foster a genuine spirit of collaboration between all parties to maximise their shared knowledge, experience, and to identify the key challenges faced of the Oil and Gas industry. Over the years, ITF has adopted a global remit in response to our members’ needs, and is now the internationally recognised champion for technology innovation within the oil and gas and related energy sectors. ITF acts as a conduit between technology innovators and the major global operators and services companies.

ITF, a 'not for profit' organisation, is owned by 28 of the major global operators and service companies. Our key objectives are to identify technology needs, foster innovation and facilitate in the development and implementation of new technologies. ITF membership provides the opportunity to define ITF’s goals and objectives in order to bring much needed new technologies to the market place through partnership and collaboration with developers and end users. Each year, we embark on a consultative process which identifies the changing gaps and needs of our membership, then we follow the ITF Process™ which ultimately focuses on implementation. ITF is seen by all as an Honest Broker, and we embrace every opportunity to work with other funding partners throughout the globe, in a genuine spirit of sharing and collaboration.

The Process

· To identify the shared technology needs of our member companies

Achieved by conducting regular surveys of our members needs, an Annual Technology Conference, and twice yearly face to face meetings with our member companies.

· Seek out innovative solutions

We run facilitated Technology challenge workshops, and invite our members, researchers, academics, developers, and SMEs. We then drill down into the subject in order to identify the specific technology gaps required by the industry.

· Engage the development community

The output from these workshops is our Call for Proposals, which is circulated to our members for review and approval prior to being distributed to our data base of global developers (universities, research centres and innovative companies).Screen and evaluate proposals

Once received, the proposals are reviewed in conjunction with our members to ensure that the scope of development work undertaken, is closely aligned to their specific needs and objectives.

· A technical clarification meeting is held

The developers who’s submissions have been recommended, are given the opportunity to present their proposed technology, ask for funding, and answer questions from our panel of members who interested in the specific technology.

· Launch a Joint Industry Project

Once agreement is reached, a separate contract is then signed between the interested parties and the developer outlining the clear deliverables. A steering committee is established, and the role of ITF is as an observer to ensure that the project stays on track.

· Technology Implementation

Implementation is the demonstrable proof that success has been achieved. Many of the technologies developed through ITF are now commercially available, other knowledge based algorithms and are incorporated in to members workflows.

There is no doubt that a version of this ‘unique’ process could be transferred and adapted to suit other industries in order to find the solutions which they require.

June 2011

Prepared 16th June 2011