Three Gulf Research Institutions to Receive First
Round of $500 Million Funding
Release date: 15 June 2010
today announced significant progress in its half-billion dollar pledge to the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GRI). Three
research institutions in the Gulf region will receive a total of $25 million in fast-track funding for high-priority studies
of the distribution, composition and ecological interactions of oil and dispersant.
May 24 BP announced a commitment of up to $500 million to the GRI open research program to study the impact of the Deepwater
Horizon incident, and its associated response, on the environment and public health in the Gulf of Mexico.
is vitally important that research start immediately into the oil and dispersant's impact, and that the findings are shared
fully and openly," said BP chief executive Tony Hayward. "We support the independence of these institutions and projects,
and hope that the funding will have a significant positive effect on scientists' understanding of the impact of the spill."
initial studies will help establish critical baseline data as the foundation for subsequent research. In this first round
of funding, GRI is providing:
- $5 million to Louisiana State University;
- $10 million to the Florida Institute of Oceanography (FIO) hosted by the University
of South Florida;
- $10 million to the Northern Gulf Institute (NGI), a consortium led by Mississippi
State University (NGI).
$5 million to LSU is part of GRI's commitment to provide $10 million over 10 years to the university. This was announced by
GRI at its launch on May 24, 2010. This funding is in recognition of LSU's significant experience in dealing with the oil
and gas industry, and its deep multi-disciplinary knowledge of the Gulf of Mexico and the Gulf region.
to receive funds from BP to conduct research into the impacts of oil spills and dispersants on the environment is truly a
testament to the high-caliber research expertise of our faculty," said LSU Interim Vice Chancellor for Research & Economic
Development Doris Carver. "These grant dollars will allow our researchers to put their expertise to work to help understand
the environmental impacts of oil spills and to develop solutions to help mitigate those impacts."
is a consortium of 20 institutions in Florida with marine science interests, including the 11 state universities. FIO was
established by the State University System to support Florida's coastal marine science, oceanography and management programs
through education, research, and public outreach. FIO facilitates the activities of educators, scientists and agencies responding
to state, regional, national and international issues through provision of centralized facilities and research vessels.
am proud of the Florida Institute of Oceanography and the service it has provided to our state and nation in this time of
crisis," said Frank T. Brogan, Chancellor of the State University System of Florida. "As a statewide collaborative of researchers
from public and private universities and marine research institutes, the FIO is uniquely positioned to provide an organized
approach to this research effort. BP's support will enable the institute to develop critical baseline data for scientists
to use as they continue their work on how to best deal with the ramifications of the spill in the Gulf of Mexico."
are very pleased to begin addressing the immediate needs of assessing the impact on the state of Florida," said William Hogarth,
acting director of the FIO and dean of USF's College of Marine Science. "We look forward to continuing to work on researching,
monitoring and understanding the impacts of the oil spill on Florida."
NGI is a consortium of universities led by
Mississippi State University, in partnership with the University of Southern Mississippi, Louisiana State University, Florida
State University, and Dauphin Island Sea Lab.
at Stennis Space Center, NGI and its member universities have proven themselves to be leaders in research that can advance
our scientific understanding of the Gulf region and its climate, natural resources, and habitat," said David Shaw, Mississippi
State's Vice President for Research and Economic Development. The institute will bring extensive background and expertise
to this very important undertaking."
In the near future BP will publish a Request for Proposals, inviting research
institutions to participate in an independent peer-review process to register their interest in becoming a GRI Research Center.
These centers will be selected by a peer review process, overseen by GRI's Advisory Council. GRI will use the highest professional
standards in determining the institutions that will receive this competitive funding. Once issued, the RFP will be available
to download from www.bp.com.
Independent GRI Advisory Council Named
today announced the names of the scientific experts who will form GRI's independent Advisory Council.
Advisory Council consists of independent scientific experts with deep understanding of the technical content and research
management issues of a program of this size. The Advisory Council may add members or draw on outside expertise to address
specific research needs. Its governance is independent of BP, and council members may not submit funding proposals to GRI.
- Dr Rita Colwell, Advisory Council Chair – Distinguished University Professor
at the University of Maryland and at Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health.
- Dr David Halpern – Senior Advisor for earth science research at NASA Headquarters
and Senior Research Scientist at Caltech/NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
- Professor Jörg Imberger – Director for the Centre for Water Research at
the University of Western Australia.
- Dr Margaret Leinen – CEO of the Climate Response Fund. Dr Leinen previously
served as Assistant Director of the National Science Foundation, directorate for Geosciences (Earth, Atmosphere and Ocean
Sciences) and coordinator across NSF of all environmental research and education.
- Professor Jürgen Rullkötter – Director of the Institute for Chemistry and
Biology of the Marine Environment (ICBM) at the University of Oldenburg, Germany.
- Professor John Shepherd – Professorial Research Fellow in Earth System
Science at the National Oceanography Centre at the University of Southampton, UK.
- In 2008, as part of the Deepwater Environmental Long-term Observatory System
(DELOS) project, BP installed the world's first system designed to monitor deep-sea marine life. DELOS is supported by Texas
A&M in Galveston, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, University of Aberdeen,
National Oceanography Centre in Southampton and the University of Glasgow.
- BP is a Founding partner of the Scientific and Environmental ROV Partnership
using Existing Industrial Technology (SERPENT) project, which aims to increase scientific understanding of the world's deepest
marine environments. In the Gulf of Mexico, BP works with LSU to use ROVs to collect water column observations for scientific
and observational use. The project is hosted by the National Oceanography Centre in Southampton, UK, and aims to make ROV
data more accessible to the world's scientific community. SERPENT projects are also active in the North Sea and Angola.
- Since 2004, BP has collaborated with the Scripps Institution of Oceanography
to better understand issues facing ocean environments, including marine electromagnetic research. The focus of this collaboration's
oceanography efforts is loop currents in the Gulf of Mexico.
Image Aquisition Project is part of the FIO/USF multi-investigator project entitled:
Early Warning 4-D Remote Sensing
System to Assess Synoptic Threats to Coastal Ecosystems of Adjacent Stares & Nations
BP Legal Brief (click here to download file)
Dr. Charles Bostater