The University of Manchester and BP Strategic Partnership

The University of Manchester and BP Strategic Partnership

This case study originally appeared on page 18 of the State of the Relationship 2014. The report outlines the state of university-business collaboration in the UK, featuring expert views and over forty case studies. Read the full report.

Over six years helping to ensure the company has the technical capability and strong leadership to stay at the leading edge of its field.

The partnership began with a number of individual research and graduate recruitment activities, but has evolved into a strategic alliance that has had major benefits for both organisations and is helping to drive the innovation and research agenda. Today, we work together across a number of key areas: Over six years helping to ensure the company has the technical capability and strong leadership to stay at the leading edge of its field. The University of Manchester and BP Strategic Partnership.


The University of Manchester is working with BP on a range of research projects across the University, such as BP’s International Centre for Advanced Materials (BP-ICAM), which is supported by a $100m, ten year investment from BP. It is a unique collaboration between five research partners: BP, The University of Manchester, the University of Cambridge, Imperial College London, and the University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign, bringing together the full spectrum of academic knowledge in the field of advanced materials.

There is also a collaborative research programme with the University’s School of Materials and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), to investigate corrosion science and technology for oilfield exploration and production, which includes a BP-funded research laboratory at Manchester and a Chair in Materials and Corrosion, plus support for a large number of researchers and academic staff.

There are also other smaller research projects in place reflecting the breadth of interaction between the two organisations.

Executive Education

In 2008, BP selected the University to host its Managing Projects and Engineering Management courses. The two professional development programmes are delivered collaboratively by subject matter experts from BP and academic staff from the university. More than 600 BP senior staff have now completed the programmes designed to boost highlevel engineering and project management skills.


Science and engineering education is critical to the UK’s long-term future and we work with BP to promote careers in the energy sector. Our joint team works raises awareness of intern and graduate opportunities at BP, while BP’s Early Engagement Programme offers 1st and 2nd year undergraduates practical insights into working for the company.


Each year BP provides scholarships to students at the University of Manchester to support the next generation of engineers and scientists. BP’s programme at Manchester includes undergraduate bursaries for up to 100 students per annum and a select number of MSc scholarships.

Application of Scientific Knowledge

BP shares its expertise and experience with staff and students through additional activities ranging from guest lectures and case studies, to sitting on advisory boards and developing the curriculum.

This is now a genuine strategic alliance that has developed with the support of executive level sponsorship enabling BP to benefit from intellectual insights from world-leading researchers, the sharing of knowledge, materials and equipment, and access to a pool of talented students and graduates. The University of Manchester benefits from a unique commercial insight that informs our research agenda, and enhances our teaching, ensuring its applicability to real-life industry challenges.

For more information, visit:

Expand for more