Doing business in BRIC countries

The IBP Summer Executive Dinner and Discussion was held on 11 June 2013.

David Eyton, BP’s Group Head of Technology, and Professor Nigel Brandon, Director of the Energy Futures Lab, reflected with IBP members and guests on the benefits of collaboration between industry and non-indigenous universities when doing business in BRIC countries. These included:

  • universities serving as a ‘credit check’ for business, as both governments and the public have a tendency to vest academia with greater credibility.
  • industry derisking a university’s involvement in a foreign project.
  • universities acting as guarantors of quality for industries investing in research overseas – David Eyton cited the partnership between BP and the Skolkovo Foundation in Russia, which funds a collaboration between the Boreskov Institute of Catalysis and Imperial, as one such example of this.
  • companies bringing significant know-how to research projects.
  • universities having experience in quality measurement.

For case studies of the way Imperial and other UK universities work with industry in BRIC nations (including a description of the Skolkovo project), have a look at the evening’s BRIC countries programme (pdf).