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Discovering global niche capability ecosystems to maximise R&D partnership and talent access

The challenge

A European-based R&D centre of a large energy company was considering moving location to take advantage of in-country R&D capability in aspects of data science research. They were aware that their current location was chosen mainly due to its proximity to its operation centres.


They needed to understand if these factors were required for successful geoscience R&D and whether these conditions were duplicated elsewhere in a more advantageous location.

Result highlight


New research partnerships identified


Geographic clustered assessed and benchmarked


New data sciences CoEs identified

"WSS Energy helped our management decide to remain in our current location whilst enhancing our connections with other universities and R&D institutes. Their recommendations to remain were thoroughly explained in a very logical way, backed up with lots of data and robust analysis"

Related Sectors

  • Oil and Gas

Related Consulting Services

  • Centre of Excellence

  • Best Practice Benchmarking

  • Operating Environment & Risks

Our approach

WSS Energy has worked on technology development and commercialisation projects involving some of the Europe’s most advanced R&D institutes, therefore we were well placed to develop a scope that both assessed their research capacity & capability in geoscience and provided appropriate perspectives on whether enduring research partnerships could be further developed.


Through our project experience in Oil and Gas Centre of Excellence establishment, we understood very well the challenges faced when creating new R&D entities and research ecosystems and relationships.

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People from above

Key activities

  • Client R&D centre stakeholder engagement - to communicate with management regarding the purpose of the targeted research study and to identify the nature of present collaborations with universities, including key researchers’ long-term opinions on what future collaborations should focus on.

  • University and R&D institute landscaping exercise - with the purpose of identifying competency centres in geoscience, data science and data modelling and those with existing linkages to the energy industry, to enable an assessment of the ease with which R&D partnerships could be established.

  • Assessment of the existing R&D facility’s research ecosystem including engagement with university professors to understand the success factors of current research partnerships, how they are enhanced by proximity, and what the impact on R&D might be should our client relocate.

  • Engagement with candidate CoE universities to understand how success factors could be duplicated, where new methods of participation might need to be established and identification of any conflicts which needed to be resolved or mitigated.

  • Detailed corporate report and presentation, outlining WSS Energy’s recommendations on relocation, including the maintenance of existing R&D partnerships and establishment of complementary R&D programmes in new European locations.

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