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INNOVATION


The MSC’S Research Collaborative: Showcasing and Supporting Technology Innovations


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The Marcellus Shale Coalition’s (MSC) Research Collaborative can trace its origins to a recommendation the MSC’s Executive Board made in 2010. The Board felt that the MSC should con- sider forming some type of research committee to examine the challenges and technologies present in the shale gas indus- try and, through the use of science and education, find viable solutions that help advance the sustainability of the industry. After internal deliberation and discussion with various MSC members, the research collaborative was born in early 2012.


The original role of the research collaborative was to serve as a resource to the MSC for fact checking and to coordinate a va- riety of experts to provide a science-based body of knowledge. Consisting largely of professionals from MSC member compa- nies, the research collaborative has been designed to advance technology and process solutions to address Appalachian Ba- sin shale industry challenges and support the science-based decisions for the benefit of all stakeholders.


However, it is unique among the MSC’s various regular com- mittees and subcommittees in that participants in the research collaborative’s monthly meetings and activities need not be MSC members. In fact, both the research collaborative and the MSC make a concerted effort to involve academia, nonprofit and non-governmental organizations, and other public and pri- vate research and development entities by inviting them to join the research collaborative.


Two major initiatives were agreed upon during the initial meet- ings of this fledgling organization. They were the development of: (1) a “new” technology workshop; and (2) a standing cadre of subject matter experts from across the MSC membership for fact checking.


THE TECHNOLOGY SHOWCASE The most pressing order of business of the newly formed re-


search collaborative was the development of a “What’s Next” Technology Workshop that would be convened as a pre-con- ference event prior to the SHALE GAS INSIGHT™ conference in Philadelphia in September 2012. The event was intended to provide suppliers of emerging technologies an opportunity to showcase their technology to the natural gas producer, mid- stream pipeline and service communities.


24 Marcellus Quarterly 2014


BY JOHN W. HINDMAN Senior International & Public Affairs Advisor, Leidos


The members of the research collaborative formed a committee to focus on this event and coordinate their activi- ties with MSC staff and other MSC committees to seamlessly integrate the showcase into the conference. Early on, the re- search collaborative formed a strong working relationship with the Ben Franklin Technology Partners Shale Gas Innovation and Commercialization Center (SGICC) to collaborate on the event and leverage the industry reach and ongoing related ac- tivities of the SGICC (www.sgicc.org). In short order, the event was named the Technology Showcase.


A significant body of event-related documents was rapidly devel- oped—announcements, application forms, acceptance/rejection letter templates, evaluation criteria and forms, and presentation templates and guidelines. A selection committee consisting of several MSC Research Collaborative members and some inde- pendent evaluators from outside the MSC was formed, with the latter chosen to provide heightened impartiality.


Applications were then solicited from a broad range of more than 5,000 technology developers, providers and researchers that might be interested in presenting to the natural gas com- munity technologies that were ready for “field test.” The tech- nology had to be ready for testing at pilot scale, slip stream or full scale at a natural gas drilling site in the Marcellus shale, Utica shale, or at a coal-bed methane or coal-mine methane site. A total of 20 applications were received via the e-mail pro- tocol established and reviewed by the selection committee; 12 were selected for the first showcase.


Those technology providers selected were notified that the showcase would be operated much like a venture capital fair. Each presenter would be provided eight minutes to present its technology to a gas industry audience, followed by two min- utes of Q&A. To protect each technology provider's intellectual property, only non-confidential information could be presented. The selected presenters also were asked to provide an ad- vance copy of their presentation materials to the research col- laborative for review and recommendations.


Before an audience of more than 100 attendees, the 12 se- lected vendors delivered their presentations and engaged in Q&A with the moderator and/or attendees. The presenters also discussed their respective technologies in greater detail with showcase attendees immediately after the conclusion of


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