virtual tour

Photos: Baker Hughes sets up interactive hub to showcase technology, sustainable energy solutions

The Baker Hughes Technology Showcase permanently displays the company's technology and clean energy solutions. Photo courtesy of Baker Hughes

When not traveling the world and being showcased internationally at various events and opportunities, the technology displays that Baker Hughes constructed to use as demonstrations and sales tools sat mostly in storage collecting dust until their next gig. That didn't sit well with Matt Hartman.

As sales and commercial enablement director, Hartman saw an opportunity for another use for these displays — one that would take them out of far-flung storage facilities.

"I wanted to reduce our storage and carbon footprint there, but I also wanted to make all of these items accessible at all times. And what better place to do it than one of the energy capitals of the world here in Houston," Hartman tells Energy Capital. "We moved everything out here and displayed it in a way that tells the full Baker Hughes story from drilling through production and including our new energies."

Now, the Baker Hughes Technology Showcase exists permanently at the company's Western Hemisphere Education Center in Tomball just outside of Houston.

There are more than 30 physical displays — some scaled down and 3D printed while others are exact replicas of the technology out in the field. In addition to these tangible pieces, hundreds are available to peruse on the touch-screen displays.

While there's the full technology spectrum represented, there's a particular focus on clean energy technologies — ones that aren't just future facing but are actually being used in the field today.

"It's all in line with our commitments that we made in 2019 to be net-zero by 2050," Hartman says, noting that Reuters reported the company's carbon footprint to 28 percent this year.

The showcase is designed for visitors and in-house teams alike, including current and potential customers, new hires, university students, and more.

"This particular building — the Western Hemisphere Education Center — is a really good building to have it in because we do anything for our training for our employees and our customers here," Hartman says. "What better place to have pieces of our technology or solutions here that they are learning about in a classroom and then they can come out here and actually put hands on."

The pieces of technology still travel of course, but when they aren't being displayed internationally, they now have a permanent place of residence to continue to be showcased.

Photo courtesy of Baker Hughes

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A View From HETI

Houston could have ranked higher on a global report of top cities in the world if it had a bit more business diversification. Photo via Getty Images

A new analysis positions the Energy Capital of the World as an economic dynamo, albeit a flawed one.

The recently released Oxford Economics Global Cities Index, which assesses the strengths and weaknesses of the world’s 1,000 largest cities, puts Houston at No. 25.

Houston ranks well for economics (No. 15) and human capital (No. 18), but ranks poorly for governance (No. 184), environment (No. 271), and quality of life (No. 298).

New York City appears at No. 1 on the index, followed by London; San Jose, California; Tokyo; and Paris. Dallas lands at No. 18 and Austin at No. 39.

In its Global Cities Index report, Oxford Economics says Houston’s status as “an international and vertically integrated hub for the oil and gas sector makes it an economic powerhouse. Most aspects of the industry — downstream, midstream, and upstream — are managed from here, including the major fuel refining and petrochemicals sectors.”

“And although the city has notable aerospace and logistics sectors and has diversified into other areas such as biomedical research and tech, its fortunes remain very much tied to oil and gas,” the report adds. “As such, its economic stability and growth lag other leading cities in the index.”

The report points out that Houston ranks highly in the human capital category thanks to the large number of corporate headquarters in the region. The Houston area is home to the headquarters of 26 Fortune 500 companies, including ExxonMobil, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, and Sysco.

Another contributor to Houston’s human capital ranking, the report says, is the presence of Rice University, the University of Houston and the Texas Medical Center.

“Despite this,” says the report, “it lacks the number of world-leading universities that other cities have, and only performs moderately in terms of the educational attainment of its residents.”

Slower-than-expected population growth and an aging population weaken Houston’s human capital score, the report says.

Meanwhile, Houston’s score for quality is life is hurt by a high level of income inequality, along with a low life expectancy compared with nearly half the 1,000 cities on the list, says the report.

Also in the quality-of-life bucket, the report underscores the region’s variety of arts, cultural, and recreational activities. But that’s offset by urban sprawl, traffic congestion, an underdeveloped public transportation system, decreased air quality, and high carbon emissions.

Furthermore, the report downgrades Houston’s environmental stature due to the risks of hurricanes and flooding.

“Undoubtedly, Houston is a leading business [center] that plays a key role in supporting the U.S. economy,” says the report, “but given its shortcomings in other categories, it will need to follow the path of some of its more well-rounded peers in order to move up in the rankings.”


This article originally ran on InnovationMap.

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