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Shell TechWorks is an open innovation programme which brings together entrepreneurs and technology start-ups from outside the energy industry. Its goal is to find faster, more cost-effective ways to deliver technologies that the industry needs, for environments where safety is paramount, to produce more energy now and in the future. 

We founded Shell TechWorks in the USA in 2013 as a commercial start-up company inside Shell. Its office is located in the world’s most innovative square mile, in Cambridge, Massachusetts – a hub for leading technology organisations including Google, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Microsoft, Draper, Apple and Novartis. 


Engineers in conversation

Engineers at Shell TechWorks combine their skills from various backgrounds with start-up and product delivery experience, creating a powerful approach to project delivery. Our team comes from industries including aerospace, defence, robotics and underwater exploration. Like oil and gas, these industries use technologies to enable operations in harsh and challenging environments where high reliability, automation and safety are fundamental to success.

Using a systems engineering approach, Shell TechWorks has the tools to match current business needs with proven technologies, processes and external partners. A whole-systems, team-based approach to address the complexity of design and development gives Shell TechWorks advantage in technology validation, hardware and software development, and disruptive innovation.


employees on ship with auv launch

Our approach focuses on technologies in the demonstration and deployment stage of development. Projects range from first-of-a-kind prototypes to product deployments. Shell TechWorks moves rapidly on projects such as control systems, autonomous vehicles, robotics and data synthesis, because we base our work on technology that is already proven and scalable.

For example, the Sea Scan project is a collaboration between Shell’s exploration and deep-water operations and a range of companies including Oceaneering and Boston Harbor Cruises. The project utilises our expertise in data, autonomy and embedded systems. It makes possible the real-time chemical detection and identification of hydrocarbons that seep naturally from the sea bed. It has the potential to identify new reservoirs of hydrocarbons for exploration, but also to detect leaks at existing operations.

Sea Scan technology requires no contact with the sea floor. It is also more cost-effective as it enables faster, more accurate decision-making compared to traditional analysis of 2D scans of seismic data.

For more information, contact techworksboston@shell.com