In a move signaling a new, innovative approach to
multidisciplinary research with university partners, North Carolina State
University has entered into a multiyear agreement with Eastman Chemical Co. to
joint cutting-edge research in chemistry, materials science, and other
As part of the agreement, Eastman will provide $10 million
over six years in support of the Eastman Chemical Co. Center of Excellence
(ECCE) partnership. It also establishes the Eastman Innovation Center (EIC)
laboratory. The laboratory will be located on Centennial Campus, NC State’s
nationally recognized research campus.
“This agreement demonstrates NC State’s commitment to be a
leader in public-private research partnerships,” says NC State Chancellor Randy
Woodson. “Our work with Eastman Chemical Co. provides NC State researchers and
students many exciting opportunities to address real-world problems in
chemistry and material sciences, and will reduce the time required to take
innovative solutions to market.”
“We’re excited about the possibilities the Eastman
Innovation Center being established at NC State brings,” says Greg Nelson,
senior vice president and chief technology officer at Eastman Chemical Co. “Our
partnership launches a world-class, open innovation collaboration with a
leading university. That relationship will help us bring differentiated new
ideas, technologies and materials from early stage research to the market more
quickly than traditional approaches.”
The developing research agreement with Eastman should ease
the collaborative process, says Terri Lomax, NC State vice chancellor for
research, innovation, and economic development.
“In addition to a unique intellectual property agreement,
the university has created one central point of contact for Eastman to
coordinate activities with both academic and administrative units,” Lomax says. “From the very beginning, we want to demonstrate that collaborating with NC
State is unlike working with any other university.”
“Having pre-established cost and intellectual property
arrangements makes it easy to start new projects quickly and to encourage easy
interactions with North Carolina State University,” says Bob Clemens, Eastman’s
vice president of corporate technology.
At least six colleges across the university will participate
in the joint research projects, which will be selected by the research steering
team comprised of an equal number of company and university researchers.
Departments involved in initial research interactions include: chemistry;
chemical and biomolecular engineering; textile engineering, chemistry and
science; forest biomaterials; and graphic design and industrial design, as well
as NC State’s Center for Innovation Management Studies.
The agreement also allows visiting Eastman scientists to
work in NC State laboratories and allows NC State researchers to do the same at
Eastman sites. NC State students are also expected to participate in the
The Eastman Innovation Center lab will be located in 2,000
square feet of laboratory space on Centennial Campus. The company is expected to move
into the space in early 2013.
Source: North Carolina State University