BERKELEY, Calif. --- Energy giant BP announced it is giving $500 million to a research partnership, headed by the University of California at Berkeley, to produce cleaner energy and develop biofuels. UC Berkeley's project partners are the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. This partnership, called the Energy Biosciences Institute, will also conduct research focusing on three key areas: conversion of heavy hydrocarbons to clean fuels, improved recovery from existing oil and gas reservoirs, and carbon sequestration. Dedicated facilities on the campuses of UC Berkeley and the University of Illinois will house the institute's research labs and staff. The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory will carry out supporting research. "This program will further both basic and applied biological research relevant to energy," said BP Group Chief Executive John Browne. "In short, it will create the discipline of energy biosciences. The institute will be unique in both its scale and its partnership between BP, academia and others in the private sector."

Originally posted on Fleet Financials