The Industry Technology Facilitator (ITF) represents its membership of international oil and gas operating and service companies to bring forward collaborative funding for research and development initiatives that address shared technology challenges.
A not-for-profit organisation, focused on the commercial needs of its members, ITF has facilitated the launch of more than 200 projects from early stage concepts through to field trials and commercialisation. Operating across continents, ITF works with its members, the technology development community and government bodies to tackle specific regional issues as well as defining areas of technology need from a global perspective and identifying opportunities for transfer of knowledge and expertise.
Established in 1999, the organisation is owned by 29 major global operators and service companies. Our key objectives are to identify technology needs, foster innovation and facilitate the development and implementation of new technologies. To date, ITF has been responsible in launching more than 200 new collaborative and revolutionary joint industry projects (JIPs), with a portfolio of over 20 ongoing Joint Industry Projects.
ITF supports the development and implementation of new technologies by the following means:
The ITF Process begins with ITF members providing their technology needs on a confidential basis through one-to-one discussion. This information is collated by ITF and presented in a non-attributable way to the entire membership at our annual general meeting. The membership of ITF decides the working priorities for the year ahead; these are the ITF Technology Challenges.
The formal timeline for the ITF process begins with the definition of a ‘Technology Challenge’, which could be achieved in a variety of ways which may involve workshops, work groups, surveys and online meetings. The Technology Challenge is further refined until the key industry issues are identified. ITF takes the output from these discussions and turns it into a Call for Proposals; this call is issued to a wide audience within the global development community. This community is considered to exist amongst universities, research organisations, small and large companies; in short, anyone with a potential solution.
On receipt of proposals ITF will undertake screening to see if they fit the specific requirements of the Technology Challenge and the other criteria as defined in the Call for Proposals document. The proposals will be categorised into two tiers and submitted to our members for their screening and evaluation along with ITF recommendations.
It is important to stress that funding decisions are taken by our members on the strength of each proposal and not by ITF. The process of review by our members generates a shortlist of proposals. There may be points of clarification requested at this stage. Following on, the proposals of key interest to our members will be invited to present their proposals at a Technology Clarification Meeting to address any remaining queries.
It is at these latter stages where some applicants may be asked to be flexible in their approach and modify proposals in either scope, cost, or time in order to give them a better chance of securing funding.
The final step is securing funding from ITF members to the point where sufficient support is attained to allow the project to process. A standard contract is then engaged for the successful applicants to establish the final Joint Industry Project. The contract will be between the researcher and the sponsors, ITF is not party to the contract but is entitled to remain in touch with the project and attend steering group meetings throughout the life of the project.
The ultimate objective of the exercise for all is to see the technology developed and be brought to full implementation through deployment. Implementation is a key performance objective for ITF and its members.