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USC and DuPont Intellectual Assets & Licensing agree on RAFT technology and polymer nanocomposites

December 01, 2010

COLUMBIA, SC - November 3, 2010 - The University of South Carolina has reached an agreement with DuPont Intellectual Assets & Licensing (DuPont) pertaining to the development of new materials utilizing a breakthrough technique in preparing polymers and polymer nanocomposites. The technique employs Reversible Addition Fragmentation Chain Transfer polymerization (RAFT technology).

RAFT technology is a living radical polymerization process and a powerful method that allows unprecedented control of molecular weight and polymer structure to enable users to tailor polymer properties. Invented by CSIRO and developed in partnership with DuPont, the utility of the technology has led to more than 200 patents. CSIRO and DuPont have an active technology transfer and licensing program for the CSIRO/DuPont patent portfolio.

The agreement with DuPont allows the university to team up with interested companies as it works to find polymers and nanocomposites with enhanced capabilities not found in today's materials.

“I think this is the first step to a lot of potential partnerships and the start of many new opportunities,” said Dr. Brian Benicewicz, (pictured, left), Center of Economic Excellence chair and research leader of Polymer NanoComposites at USC and a professor in the university’s department of chemistry and biochemistry. “We are the first university in the U.S. to get a license to not only research and use this technology, but also to work with third parties to develop possible commercial applications for this technology.”

“We are excited about the research license agreement with USC,” said Charles D. Murray, managing director, DuPont Intellectual Assets & Licensing business. “We believe that by expanding the university’s rights to conduct research and to team with interested companies, we will realize substantial commercial licensing opportunities as companies identify exciting commercial opportunities.”

Benicewicz said the agreement will make it easier for USC to move technology from university research labs to the marketplace. He said he is already talking to companies, including some in South Carolina that may find this powerful technology useful.

“Under the terms of our agreement with DuPont, the work to look for new applications is now being done here at USC, so that puts us in a wonderful position,” he said.

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