BP is to establish a £64 million international research centre, known as the BP International Centre for Advanced Materials, or BP-ICAM at The University of Manchester.
This centre will lead research aimed at advancing the fundamental understanding and use of materials across a variety of oil and gas industrial applications.
The BP-ICAM will be modelled on a “hub and spoke” structure, with the ‘hub’ located within The University of Manchester’s Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences, which has core strengths in materials, engineering, characterisation, collaborative working, and a track record of delivering breakthrough research and engineering applications that can be deployed in the real world. The “spokes” and other founder members, all world-class academic institutions, are the University of Cambridge, Imperial College London, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
The ten-year investment programme will fund research into advanced materials and is expected to support 25 new academic posts, along with 100 post-grad researchers and 80 postdoctoral fellows.
The UK Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne said: “This coalition Government is committed to putting innovation and research at the very heart of its growth agenda. We are ensuring the UK maintains it competitive edge in science and we are creating an environment where innovation can flourish. That’s why top businesses such as BP are investing in the UK and supporting our world-leading universities in delivering cutting edge research. And as an MP for the North West of England I particularly welcome the fact that BP’s International Centre for Advanced Materials will be based at Manchester University.”
Bob Dudley, BP group chief executive, said: “Advanced materials and coatings will be vital in finding, producing and processing energy safely and efficiently in the years ahead, as energy producers work at unprecedented depths, pressures and temperatures, and as refineries, manufacturing plants and pipeline operators seek ever better ways to combat corrosion and deploy new materials to improve their operations.
“Manchester has world-leading capabilities and facilities in materials and was chosen after a global search to act as the ‘hub’ of the centre, working with other world-class university departments. We look forward to deepening further the very productive partnership that already exists between our professionals in BP and the academic team at Manchester.”