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Latest Announcement of BP $500M funding
By Admin (on 11/3/2010 @ 15:40:01, in Oil Spill, read 1726 times)

As you may be aware, BP has announced more details of their Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GRI), which will provide $500 million in competitive research awards to academia and industry research organizations over the next ten years.  That announcement is attached.  A workshop was recently held at Dillard at which time more details were released.  BP is working with the Gulf of Mexico Alliance (http://gulfofmexicoalliance.org/) which is a partnership of the states of AL, FL, LA, MS and TX through the respective Governor’s Offices.
Some of those details are:

The GRI will establish a GRI Executive Committee (anticipated by the end of November) which will consist of 20 members (10 chosen by BP and 10 by the Alliance).  We have nominated two possible members of the Executive Committee from UNO.

Once the Executive Committee is finalized an RFP will be released. The Executive Committee will have final approval over the RFP. The goal is to release the solicitation by early December. The Alliance will widely advertise the RFP once it is released, including on a new GRI website that is currently under development.

Researchers will be given about 45 days to submit a proposal electronically to the Alliance (the due date will be around February 1, 2011).  The Alliance will oversee a peer review process similar to the National Science Foundation.

Chosen projects will be determined by the Executive Committee and announced around April 1. Funding will be provided to the awardees around June 1.  Research teams receiving GRI funding will be expected to publish their research results in scholarly journals and make their data transparent and accessible. Research findings will not need to be reviewed by BP or the Alliance prior to publication.  This first competitive RFP will be used to fund projects for up to three years. Each project will have to be approved annually for renewal (i.e. funding will not be provided upfront for three years of research, but projects can be renewed for up to three years based on performance). Funding cannot be used for acquisition, infrastructure or education/community outreach activities.

Project proposals must fall into one of the five identified research themes, listed below. These themes will be revisited in year four of GRI, once the first three years of competitive projects initiated by the upcoming RFP have concluded.

  • The physical distribution and ultimate fate of contaminants associated with the Deepwater Horizon incident.
  • The chemical evolution and biological degradation of the contaminants.
  • The environmental effects of the contaminants on Gulf of Mexico ecosystems, and the science of ecosystem recovery.
  • Technology developments for improved detection, characterization, mitigation, and remediation of offshore oil spills.
  •  Integration of the previous four themes in the context of human health.

Given the expected quick turnaround once the RFP is released in December, I encourage UNO researchers to start organizing their teams and ideas now according to the above five themes.  Monday and Tuesday of this week the BoR held a conference in New Orleans related to research and the Horizon Oil Spill.  The list of attendees and posters from that conference may be helpful in finding collaborators. If you need help identifying possible research partners please let me know.  Although researchers in the Gulf region are expected to receive preference for funding, proposals will be accepted from across the country. Additionally, partnerships with industry and state or national labs are not precluded from receiving funding.