Academic/Corporate Partnerships in the Geosciences

Paul Weimer, University of Colorado


The current downturn in the petroleum industry presents both a danger and opportunities for the partnerships between companies and applied geoscience research programs in universities.  The immediate danger is that the recruiting of students may stop for the next one to two years, and research funding may evaporate causing many programs to cease their activities.  This will cause long term problems at the universities.  The opportunity is for strong applied research programs to maintain
their strengths, develop new niches for outsourced research, and for the growth of stronger ties between universities and companies.

What will happen during the next few years depends largely on the response of companies to the current downturn. For academic/university research programs to continue to be fruitful will require the companies to: (1) continue recruiting, (2) keep giving gifts to key programs for recruiting students, (3) help establish the kinds of modern software needed to make research programs succeed, (4) work with departments on their advisory boards as a way to continue to influence universities,
and (5) continue and help nourish interdisciplinary research at key universities.

For universities to maintain robust applied research programs will require continued research efforts that will have direct and immediate benefit to the companies in their exploration and/or development efforts.  This talk will present three examples of research programs that we have conducted at the University of Colorado that have had direct effect on companiesí efforts:  deep water Gulf of Mexico petroleum systems, Perdido Foldbelt exploration/ research project, and marginal marine siliciclastic reservoir project from fields from around the world.

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