BP plans to make a major investment in alternative energy sources, funding "radical research" at a new bioscience energy research lab. Outlining a ten-year program costing $500 million, BP chief executive Lord Browne said Wednesday that the company plans to site the lab at a major academic center in the U.S. or the U.K., with talks already underway with several universities.

The BP Energy Biosciences Institute intends to launch its first research programs by late 2007, with initial focus in three areas:
  • developing new biofuel components and improving the efficiency of petroleum/biofuel blends
  • more efficient extraction of biofuels from feedstock
  • developing plant species with higher biofuel yield, that can be grown on land not suited for food crops
[Source: BP]