Facilitation of Science and Engineering Collaboration and Technology Transfer

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Key to the success of research projects involving collaboration across disciplinary, organizational, and geographic boundaries is the use of appropriate and effective mechanisms to exchange data and analyses among research team members. Where diverse university-based research groups are also sharing data and results with industry and government collaborators and sponsors, timely and appropriate information transfer to these entities is also important to project success. Despite rapid evolution of electronic communication technologies, this data sharing and data analysis sharing function is commonly less successful than many stakeholders desire, and less effective than current technology allows. By taking advantage of a secure, interactive website environment, geoscientists, engineers, and others can communicate and share a variety of information resources effectively and conveniently. This results in closer collaboration, faster progress, lower costs, and more effective technology transfer to the private sector. However, the traditional Internet Web site, Intranet, and Extranet approaches are not solutions to many of the challenges of diverse, collaborative research teams. This report outlines the solution to this challenge developed in our project.

The project "Using Microstructure Observations To Qualify Fracture Properties and Improve Reservoir Simulation" involves multidisciplinary studies of natural fractures in hydrocarbon reservoirs by a research team of geologists and engineers at The University of Texas at Austin that is dispersed among different buildings and two different campuses. In addition, a collaborating group of industry scientists representing seven companies includes individuals located in different cities (or continents). Successful cooperative research and technology transfer for such a widely distributed group is a serious logistical and organizational challenge.


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