Rod Stearn, country director for Canada and vice-president for Baker Hughes, a GE Company (BHGE). Wil Andruschak © 2018 Postmedia Network Inc.

Joel Schlesinger © 2018 Postmedia Network Inc.

The recent merger of Baker Hughes and GE Oil and Gas offers a one-stop shop for industry players seeking innovative solutions to their business challenges.

The two oil and gas services giants formally merged last year to become the world’s first and only fullstream provider of integrated oilfield products, services and digital solutions.

Now called Baker Hughes, a GE Company, the new firm brings together GE’s technological prowess at helping downstream refiners and offshore drillers — among many other industry segments — with Baker Hughes, a leader in upstream services for drilling and other needs in the field.

And nowhere is this company more needed for its pioneering, technological solutions than in Calgary, says Rod Stearn, country director for Canada and vice-president for Baker Hughes, a GE Company (BHGE).

“Calgary companies in the upstream, midstream and downstream are seeing that Baker Hughes, a GE Company can provide them with smart solutions.”

In an industry and market where everyone is looking to find efficiencies, BHGE has an innovation ecosystem in Calgary that is finding new solutions to keep people safe, while saving clients time and money.

“What we have here is a Customer Innovation Centre, so we go to our clients and ask them what their bleeding-from-the-neck issues are and about the challenges on the horizon — and we solve those problems for them.”

Tailoring its services to the challenges of the Canadian industry, BHGE’s Customer Innovation Centre is located downtown — tapping into some of the world’s largest global oil and gas companies.

“There is no better place than Calgary with the way its downtown is set up with a high concentration of clients — six square blocks of major firms who are willing to try different things and hunting for innovative solutions.”

Indeed, oil and gas companies operating in Canada are looking for answers to a number of challenges. For one, they operate in some of the most difficult geographies and geological conditions in the world.

“You can take Canadians from the industry here to just about anywhere, and they will be successful because they have dealt with a diversity of challenges and production profiles here in Canada,” Stearn says.

Moreover, Canada is a leader in environmental regulation, which means oil and gas companies here need to be much more proactive regarding their impact on Mother Nature.

“If you take a look at some of the challenges we have here in Canada on the marketplace — like pipeline access and regulatory restrictions that producers don’t really see anywhere else — companies have no choice but to be better and more efficient,” he adds.

Consequently, technology and innovation are front and centre for many oil and gas companies, and that’s why they look to BHGE, with its built-in innovation ecosystem.

“We use all available resources at our disposal and often crowdsource to solve problems,” Stearn says about Zone Startups Calgary — a collection of budding tech companies that are supported in part by GE Canada and Ryerson University.

“We’ll often work with them to see what they can find for us,” he says. “Good ideas can come from anywhere, particularly from new companies, so the startup incubator that we support gives us the ability to be quick and nimble.”

More broadly, Calgary — with its reputation for top-notch industry talent that thinks outside of the box — is crucial to the future success of BHGE.

“There’s a fantastic talent pool here,” Stearn says of Calgary. “It’s a place where a lot of new ideas are fostered, and it’s a place keen on innovation and hungry for continuous improvement.”

And that’s exactly where BHGE wants to be.

This story was created by Content Works, Postmedia’s commercial content division, on behalf of Calgary Economic Development.

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