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By Alex Bruton, Innovation Specialist, Scovan

On November 3, 2023, the University of Calgary’s Haskayne School of Business buzzed with innovative ideas as it hosted its annual MBA Case Competition. The event, featuring 60 students across 15 teams, was a convergence of diverse perspectives and groundbreaking approaches in the business world.

Scovan played an exciting role in the competition, going beyond mere sponsorship to shaping the core of the business case used in the event. For the first time, the competition moved away from publicly available business scenarios, and focused instead on a real-world challenge of how best to commercialize our pioneering HipVap technology. This was an exciting way to bring actual business opportunities from a local industry leader into an academic setting.

The case’s practical focus on HipVap technology offered a fertile environment for hands-on learning and real-world application. Participants delved into the technology’s potential to transform Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage (SAGD) operations, aligning directly with the global pursuit of Net Zero goals.

Released to the students a week in advance, the case presented three critical hypotheses: firstly, evaluating HipVap’s remote steam capabilities in enhancing operational flexibility and efficiency; secondly, its significant carbon advantages, essential for adhering to strict emission reduction regulations; and thirdly, the possibilities of extending HipVap’s application beyond conventional SAGD operations, thereby broadening the scope of energy production. These hypotheses represented tangible challenges in the energy sector, providing students with an opportunity to engage with real issues whose solutions could significantly advance sustainable energy production.

Presentations and feedback sessions took place throughout a six-hour day and the four top teams competed in an exciting live finale held in front of the entire group in the stunning new Mathison Hall.

A panel of seven distinguished judges assessed the teams, blending industry expertise and academic acumen. This panel included Cameron Welsh of Haskayne School of Business, Alejandro Stump from SAP, Abeer Habibullah of BMO, Sarah Haraburda and Arun Thomas of McKinsey & Co, and Scovan’s own Alex Bruton and Phil Henderson. Their collective input ensured a thorough and balanced evaluation of the innovative solutions proposed by the students.

Our participation in the Haskayne MBA Case Competition aligns with our Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) goals, particularly in fostering community involvement and educational development. By integrating real-world challenges into an academic context, we are not only aiming to promote innovation but also to inspire the next generation of leaders in sustainable energy. We believe it reflects our dedication to cultivating a skilled workforce capable of making significant contributions to sustainable development in the oil and gas industry.

The competition was more than just an academic exercise; it was a dynamic forum for nurturing the energy sector’s future leaders. Through such events, Scovan underscores its commitment to bridging the gap between industry and academia, playing a crucial role in the collective journey towards a sustainable, Net Zero future. Our involvement stands as a testament to our unwavering commitment to innovation, sustainability, and nurturing the industry leaders of tomorrow.

Our sincere thanks to Nazil Abdul Azeez, Mohammad Homoyoun, and the whole Haskayne MBA Society for inviting us to be involved in this making exciting experience happen.

Originally published in Scovan’s IGNITE Vol. 7