5 February 2007
BP has selected the University of California Berkeley and its partners the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory to join in a research program that will explore how bioscience can be used to increase energy production and reduce the impact of energy consumption on the environment. To conduct the research, BP will establish the Energy Biosciences Institute (EBI), which will be funded through a $500 million investment over 10 years.
The EBI will perform research aimed at the production of new and cleaner energy, initially focusing on renewable biofuels for road transport&mdasg;that is, converting plants and plant materials such as corn, field waste, switchgrass and algae, into transportation fuels. The EBI will also pursue bioscience-based research in three other key areas; the conversion of heavy hydrocarbons to clean fuels, improved recovery from existing oil and gas reservoirs, and carbon sequestration.
The EBI research laboratories will be housed in dedicated facilities on the campuses of UC Berkeley and the University of Illinois. 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.