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New research agreement with Equinor

UiS and Equinor will work together on research on decision analysis, offshore wind and digital drilling under the Akademia Agreement, which was signed 4 January 2019.

Rector Marit Boyesen and Randi E. Hugdahl, Vice President of Subsurface Technology at Equinor, signing agreement. Rector Marit Boyesen and Randi E. Hugdahl, Vice President of Subsurface Technology at Equinor, signing the Akademia agreement.

The new agreement will provide NOK 37.5 million for research in areas that are strategically important to both parties. The funding is for a period of five years, and implies an increase of 7.5 million from the previous agreement, which expired at the end of last year. 

The focus areas of the new agreement were negotiated during the autumn of 2018 based on the common denominators of UiS’ and Equinor’s strategic initiatives. Key experts at both institutions have agreed to the following three areas:

1. Integrated modelling for decision management

This includes research into real-time data in decision analysis. New knowledge in this field will have potential use well beyond the oil sector, for example in economics and health.

The research project is multidisciplinary and will involve three departments at UiS. It is also linked to the new Computational Engineering study programme.

The agreement includes an endowed professorship, an adjunct professor position and a PhD candidate.

2. Offshore wind

In this venture, the researchers will model various forms of wind and wave loads against different types of wind turbines at sea. The goal is to find out which designs will produce the most possible electrical energy under different conditions.

An adjunct professor and several research fellows will be appointed to perform this research, which will take place within UiS’ ocean technology initiative, OTICS (Ocean Technology Innovation Cluster Stavanger).

3. Digitised and automated drilling

This part of the agreement includes research and development that involves integrated use of data logging methods and real-time data analysis to improve drilling operations. An adjunct professor, a postdoctoral fellow and a PhD candidate will be appointed in this connection.

"Important areas"

"Equinor is a company with a long-term perspective, and is dependent on research in the areas that will be important in the future. We will safeguard our oil and gas operations and we will grow within renewable energy. We want to drive technological development through interdisciplinary collaboration and innovation, and by harnessing the capabilities digitisation gives us. This agreement contributes to all these goals," says Randi E. Hugdahl, Vice President of Subsurface Technology at Equinor. 

"Worth its weight in gold"

She signed the agreement with Rector Marit Boyesen.

"We are very grateful for this agreement. This is an excellent example of collaboration between academia and industry. This agreement both ensures funding for our research, and professional support for our future activities. The fact that we are signing this agreement for the third time also says something about the long-term nature of our collaboration. This is worth its weight in gold for us," says Rector Boyesen.

Professional match

Together with Prorector Dag Husebø, leaders and researchers at the Faculty of Science and Technology negotiated the contents of the agreement on behalf of the university.

During the signing meeting, the parties commended each other for good collaboration and characterised the process as more of a constructive dialogue than negotiations.

Dean Øystein Lund Bø stressed how well the Akademia Agreement fits with the faculty’s own academic strategy on oil & energy and transitional technologies.

Vice-Dean of Research, Helge Bøvik Larsen, characterised it as a “one-to-one match” of interests between the university and Equinor.

Text and photo: Leiv Gunnar Lie