Cambridge University is part of a £60m project to research science which could benefit the oil and gas industry.
The University is one of the partners in a new International Centre for Advanced Materials to support science and engineering, spread across Manchester and Cambridge universities and Imperial College, London, as well as the University of Illinois in the United States. The project is being backed by oil giant BP.
Around £60 million will be invested in the project, which will create a number of new academic posts.
Bob Dudley, BP's group chief executive, said: "Advanced materials and coatings will be vital in finding, producing and processing energy safely and efficiently in the years ahead.
"Energy producers will work at unprecedented depths, pressures and temperatures, as refineries, plants and pipeline operators seek ever better ways to combat corrosion.
"Manchester has world-leading capabilities and facilities in materials and it was chosen after a global search to act as the 'hub' of the centre, with 'spokes' in other university departments worldwide."
Business Secretary Vince Cable said: "The oil and gas industry's immense contribution to our skills base, industrial capacity and strength as an exporter are pivotal as we rebalance our economy.
"Collaboration between business and higher education institutions is boosting the status of the UK as a driver of innovation, and giving our firms a competitive edge. I'm pleased that BP has chosen to partner with a number of our world class universities to find new and more efficient ways of using and generating power."