NTNU in co-operation with Aker Kværner has developed hydrate technology for the storage and transport of natural gas. Laboratory studies have been carried out by NTNU and engineering, design and cost studies by Aker Kværner. The technology has been patent ed and all intellectual property rights have been placed in the company Natural Gas Hydrate AS (NGH). In recent years the Japanese Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding Co. Ltd. has carried out pilot plant studies in Chiba. In late-2004, Mitsui and NGH signed a Joint Development Agreement to co-operate with the aim of commercializing hydrate technology in Japan. On the road to commericalization a demonstration plant needs to be built and operted. A number of key-aspects of hydrate technology need to be looked at further before a commerical plant will be built. Thereore, Mitsui, NGH and NTNU are now entering into discussions about what key-aspects need to be considered at laboratory-scale (NTNU), pilot plant-scale (Mitsui) and demonstration-scale. The group wi ll furthermore be discussing with key-players in the oil, gas and energy industry, how and where a demonstration-scale plant will be built. NTNU needs to participate in the on-going discussions to be able to formulate relevant research questions to be add ressed in doctoral studies at NTNU in Trondheim. Two key-areas are currently considered relevant for such studies: separation of hydrate particles from water and, properties of natural gas hydrates for plant design (primarily heat of formation/melting and sensible heating/cooling). NTNU is planning an application to NFR (Petromaks) when the basic strategy has been laid down by the partners involved.