In June, BP announced plans to fund a $500m Energy Biosciences Institute for biofuels research, in partnership with a university. Imperial is one of the universities being considered, with a decision expected in September.
Save Wye is reporting that BP's decision could spell the death of the Wye Park project the website was set up to oppose. The plan, to build a large science park and research institute at Wye, has stalled recently with contractors being taken off of the project.
Biofuels research was at the heart of the Wye Park plans, partly due to the easy access to agricultural resources. If BP's EBI is located at a British university, finding government funding for a second centre for bioefuels research at Wye would become very difficult. It is believed that an Imperial-based EBI would be based in London, as Wye Park is several years off - research is intended to start by the end of 2007.
With the Wye Park plans on hold and teaching being taken over by Kent next year, the future of College's leafy outpost is looking muddled.