This study investigates the relationship between the practice of systems engineering and innovation and is intended to characterise the way they interact in a high-tech environment. The propositions are built upon two independent theoretical frameworks, namely process-oriented view and capability-oriented view. Two propositions aim at verifying the general alignment of their processes and capabilities and another two aim at identifying particular elements of misalignment. The probe is carried out as a case study in Åsgard Subsea Compression Project, and the research is based on qualitative analyses of primary data acquired through questionnaires and interviews. Åsgard is considered a highly innovative project in the global oil and gas industry; utilises intensively systems engineering concepts and methods; and is contemporary to this study. The inquiry articulates the analyses and anchors the findings by establishing triangulations in multiple dimensions: theoretical frameworks, data collection methods and data collection units. The concurrent perspectives, methods and data collection units evolve independently throughout the research and in the end converge to a few consistent and reliable conclusions.The empirical evidences consistently indicate that there are general synergies between the processes of systems engineering and innovation; and that whilst the capabilities necessary for the practice of the former are not the same as for the latter, they are mutually supportive. Nevertheless a particularly controversial relationship between the contemporary innovation’s time-based strategy and the systems engineering capabilities emerge as a provocative question mark.