BP’s Energy Biosciences Institute will work with the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois to research the creation of renewable energy. BP is providing a $500 million grant over a 10-year period.
EBI will research cleaner energy, initially focusing on renewable biofuels. Three other key areas of research will be the conversion of heavy hydrocarbons to clean fuels, improved recovery from existing oil and gas reservoirs, and carbon sequestration.
“The proposal from UC Berkeley and its partners was selected in large part because these institutions have excellent track records of delivering ‘Big Science’ – large and complex developments predicated on both scientific breakthroughs and engineering applications that can be deployed in the real world,” said BP Group Chief Executive John Browne. “This program will further both basic and applied biological research relevant to energy. In short, it will create the discipline of Energy Biosciences. The Institute will be unique in both its scale and its partnership between BP, academia and others in the private sector.”
Dedicated facilities on the campuses of UC Berkeley and the University of Illinois will house EBI research laboratories and staff. The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory will carry out supporting research. Up to 50 BP staff located on the two campuses will work in partnership with university faculty and researchers. BP and its partners will share governance of the EBI and guidance of its research programs.