University of Cambridge

University of Cambridge

Linking academic research to  real-world applications


The research partnership between Shell and the University of Cambridge dates from the 1950s and has recently expanded through a new Framework Agreement. To identify new opportunities, the University of Cambridge commissioned Innovia Technology to map the specialisms of university researchers in the Department of Engineering with key applications in drilling and well construction. The scope of opportunity is vast – Engineering has over 250 research staff with far-ranging interests and skills.


We helped elicit the complex criteria that determine the attractiveness of a joint project and used them to focus the collaboration. We quickly moved to a small set of options that were exciting, impactful and actionable. We then facilitated introductions between Shell and university researchers – in any collaboration, the emotional connection is at least as important as the rational one.


The work was funded through the Impact Acceleration Account administered by UK’s Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) for the purpose of catalysing University-Business collaboration.