Aramco is a sponsor of this year's WPC

Startups will pitch innovative energy tools, technologies and practices on stage to combat the challenges faced by the energy industry at the congress in December

To combat the current challenges of the energy industry and bring awareness to progressive energy solutions available on the market today, the 23rd World Petroleum Congress taking place in-person in Houston, the US, from December 5-9 at the George R Brown Convention Center, has announced the launch of the Innovation Zone.

Presented by ConocoPhillips, the captivating new feature will provide startup companies an international platform to showcase cutting-edge practices and solutions in the areas concerned.

"For more than a century, innovation has enabled our industry to keep pace with the growing demand for safe and reliable energy," said W L (Bill) Bullock, Jr, EVP and CFO, ConocoPhillips.

"ConocoPhillips is pleased to be the Innovation Zone presenting sponsor, where companies will showcase innovations that can propel our industry’s purposeful journey through the energy transition and into the future."

Thirty-two selected startup companies and individuals will have the opportunity to pitch their innovative energy tools, technologies and practices on stage to Congress delegates and participants, who will then pick one to receive the Energy Innovator Award.

The Innovation Zone is open to all for-profit energy companies, private entities and individuals operating as independent contractors. Application details for the Innovation Zone can be found at

Proposals will be evaluated on how well they meet seven criteria, including Innovation, Creativity, Evidence of potential or achieved technical and/or business success, Impact on the environment, Impact on stakeholders, Scalability, and Wider applicability.

The deadline for receipt of proposals is August 20, after which a selection committee comprising professionals from ConocoPhillips and the 23rd WPC will evaluate and choose 32 finalists. Those selected will be notified in early September and will present in person at the congress in December.

Serafina Lalany, Interim Executive Director at Houston Exponential commented: "This is a tremendous, tangible milestone for ConocoPhillips and the 23rd World Petroleum Congress. We are delighted to set an example of the global integrated energy transition right here in Houston. Start-ups with their innovative business models will play a decisive role in shaping a sustainable energy future, and for participating companies, this is a good opportunity to present and forge new links with key-stakeholders and investors."

Jan Odegard, Executive Director at The Ion added: "The energy landscape is being transformed globally and The Ion is transforming Houston into a technology destination. We are proud to be partnering with the World Petroleum Congress Organizing Committee to bring The Innovation Zone to the 23rd WPC".

Jeff Shellebarger, Chairman of the 23rd World Petroleum Congress Organizing Committee, concluded: "Innovation is at the heart of the 23rd World Petroleum Congress. We are excited to present the Innovation Zone, and give organizations and individuals the stage to bring forward and amplify transformative ideas that will impact the future of energy."

The World Petroleum Congress is held once every three years and is the oil and gas industry’s most prestigious international event.

Assembling expert speakers from all around the world, the Congress attracts the highest-level industry and government leaders, including heads of state, ministers of energy and C-suite executives.

The congress will also feature an engaging exhibition floor in the 50,000 sq m George R Brown Convention Center in Houston’s Downtown Campus.

This year’s congress is sponsored by Chevron, Halliburton, Accenture, Hess, ExxonMobil, BP, Qatar Petroleum, Baker Hughes, Aramco and ConocoPhillips.

Related Stories