Research and innovation are the key pillars in Eni’s technology strategy. The interaction between internal and external R&D is a consolidated reality and is considered an essential condition for the emergence of breakthrough and real technological changes. This collaborative approach uses robust internal R&D expertise and a world-class network of alliances and partnerships.
Collaboration with leading centres of excellence makes it possible to create laboratories that are not only virtual, but which take a multidisciplinary approach to the technological challenges of the existing business and emerging needs in the world of energy. Research in partnership with major universities also promotes the flow of new ideas, the acquisition of new skills and the efficient development of research activities.
On this basis, Eni started important collaboration agreements with universities and centres of excellence in Italy and abroad: in Italy, the main Framework Agreements were signed with the Polytechnics of Milan and Turin and the National Research Council (CNR). Abroad, the main alliances were made with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT – Cambridge, USA) in February 2008, reconfirmed in February 2013, and with Stanford University(California, USA), signed in February 2011.
The renewal of the alliance between Eni and MIT testifies to the value of this multi-year partnership in terms of research results on innovative technologies to support the oil & gas core business, environmental protection and new generation solar energy.
The fundamental principles on which R&D alliances and partnerships are based are:
The essential prerequisites in the selection of partners are:
The main international partnership is with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT): first signed in February 2008, and renewed after five years. Eni chief executive, Paolo Scaroni, and the President of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Rafael Reif, signed on 11 February 2013 in Cambridge, an agreement to relaunch Eni’s research programme in partnership with the MIT Energy Initiative (MITEI).
MITEI is an initiative launched by MIT, together with other partners working in technological innovation, with the aim of developing solutions to transform the current energy system and respond to future challenges, through an analysis of every aspect of the energy supply, demand and environmental protection and sustainability.
Scientific research in the field of renewable energy and solar energy in particular, has been an important part of the cooperation between Eni and MIT in the five-year period 2008-2013, and has achieved satisfactory results. Among these was the creation, in May 2010, of the Solar Frontiers Center, a joint Eni - MIT research centre that has distinguished itself particularly in the development of solar cells printed on paper and in the coming years will explore flexible photovoltaics, innovative solar concentrators and applications of biotechnology to materials.
In February 2011, Eni and Stanford University in California signed a strategic alliance for innovation: the partnership is aimed at the development of new core technologies in the oil and gas business as well as new systems of characterisation and environmental restoration.
The integration of an academic and industrial vision strengthens both the multi-disciplinary and technological approach of Stanford and the expertise of Eni, in order to ensure the necessary innovations to meet future challenges.
The project portfolio is aimed at the definition and the rapid application of new technologies for the exploration and production of hydrocarbons and the development of innovative methods of environmental protection.
The alliance builds on the longstanding cooperation between Eni’s E&P Division and Stanford’s School of Earth Sciences and is an important part of Eni’s strategy aimed at securing the division’s technological leadership in its core activities.
In the environmental field a number of projects are underway aimed at the identification of methods for assessing in situ concentrations of chemical contaminants in water, soil and sediment, as well as systems to determine the potential for the natural recovery of contaminated sites.
Last updated on 03/06/14