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The (FC)2 Alliance: Perspectives from Academic Members

Bertotti, Giovanni *1; Hardebol, Nicolaas 1
(1) Geotechnology, Delft University of Technology, Delft, Netherlands.

In our experience, the results of traditional industry consortia are sometimes below expectations. We identify the bottle-neck in the insufficient involvement of Industry and/or Academia. In these cases, interactions between partners are typically limited to annual meetings, during which individual representatives of industrial partners are updated on the research with delivery of progress and final reports. Because the involvement of industry is often at the level of an individual, representation is vulnerable to role changes.

Weak interactions are disappointing for both industry and academia. Companies may perceive limited return on investment. Universities find it frustrating to have limited feedback and collaboration. Faculty and students seek not only financial support from industry but also, more importantly, scientific and technical discussions for research and education. A very effective way to upscale interactions is a new collaboration model launched by one Oil & Gas Company we have been interacting with. In this model the Company is at the centre, coordinating and stimulating selected academic organizations.

The (FC)2 Alliance was the first test of the model with multi-year research support. Key results from the academic perspective are:

1. The depth, duration and variety of engagement have been most important. In addition to the “annual meeting”, interactions have occurred through field studies, workshops, internships and training. The diversity of interactions and scale of representation by the Company and Academia has been unique and rewarding.

2. The Alliance is differentiated through joint planning and sustained collaborations. Partnering in scientific work has built strong relationships while accelerating research objectives over several years.

3. Peer-to-peer interactions among Alliance members encourage the best science possible, de-emphasizing “selling”.

4. The Alliance provides an opportunity for students to obtain broad experience in academia and industry while building early professional networks.

Beyond these general results, benefits have accrued to individual groups. A map of our history with the (FC)2 Alliance, shows how investment in one Ph.D. project seeded connections and further investments. New investments resulted from the clear identification of mutual benefits that enabled us to develop new lines of research and define a clearer path from our fundamental studies to industry application.

 

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90141©2012, GEO-2012, 10th Middle East Geosciences Conference and Exhibition, 4-7 March 2012, Manama, Bahrain