Background & History
In April 2002, Eastman Chemical donated its intellectual property portfolio in the area of polymer nanocomposites to the University of South Carolina. Since then, the USC Office of Research and the NanoCenter have invested almost $700,000 in funding and equipment to establish the Polymer Nanocomposites Research Team (a research thrust area of the USC NanoCenter) to develop new knowledge, technology, and experience built upon the Eastman IP donation. In April 2004, USC was awarded $3.5 million from the State to establish the Polymer Nanocomposites Research Center of Economic Excellence (PNC-RCoEE). The University has since received matching fund pledges totaling $3.5 million. With the PNC-RCoEE fully funded, the University has carried out a search for the PNC-RCoEE Endowed Professor and is currently negotiating with top candidates. These investments show that cutting-edge research in polymer nanocomposites is one of the highest priorities for the NanoCenter, the University, and the State.