About Us

What is CUMIRP?

The Center for UMass / Industry Research on Polymers (CUMIRP) is a Center which promotes and coordinates polymer research collaborations between the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and Industry / Government. CUMIRP was established in 1980 as a National Science Foundation / Industry – University Collaborative Research Center (I/UCRC) and remains the longest running program in the area of science or engineering.  There are presently 30+ industrial members and CUMIRP is multidisciplinary: at the interface of Polymers, Biology, Biochemistry, Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, Food Science, Mechanical Engineering and Physics.

How is CUMIRP Organized?

Part I- is our Research Consortium program where members join research Clusters organized around specific research themes (original NSF/IUCRC format) Part II- is one-on-one Sponsored Research where members sponsor research programs tailored to their R&D needs Part III- is for Unrestricted Research Grants which allows for creative and unrestricted use of funds by UMass Faculty Part IV - is for short duration, scoping projects for idea development and feasibility.

What are the Benefits?

  • Sponsored research at the University:
    • provides research results, knowledge and learnings from the research programs
    • allows members certain rights to intellectual property
  • Interactions with Faculty:
    • allow industrial members to keep abreast of the latest science and technology
    • provide exposure to thinking outside of a particular business area - can often be a sounding board for ideas
    • are a source of expertise covering most areas of polymer science
  • Interactions with Students:
    • expose them to the ‘real world’ of business with a very different perspective than academia
    • provide an opportunity for companies to expose students to career opportunities within their organization, their R&D interests and their products
    • give the industrial sponsor the opportunity to highlight their company
  • Interactions with the Department:
    • aid us in funding students so that we can continue to attract the best candidates and develop the next generation of polymer scientists
    • help us to remain a top program through affiliations with companies
  • Interactions through CUMIRP:
    • provide a venue for interactions with other companies and government agencies
    • have led to collaborative research programs with customers and suppliers
    • give you access to a state-of-the-art polymer facility
    • leverage your R&D funds through the consortium and other programs
  • Overall Interactions with Industry:
    • afford us an opportunity to develop long-term relationships between Industry, our faculty and students through research programs, meetings & lectures, visiting scientists, field trips and coop programs

How is CUMIRP Managed?

CUMIRP has 2 full time staff members: its Director and its Office Manager. Oversight is from a five-member CUMIRP Steering Committee (the CUMIRP Director, two CUMIRP co-Principal Investigators, the MRSEC Director and the Department Head for PSE). An Industrial Advisory Board comprised of member participants from all aspects of the program provides guidance on Center operations. Research programs are conducted by graduate students and post- doctoral fellows under the direction of UMass Faculty (programs may include visiting scientists from academia and industry). CUMIRP works with all Departments involved with polymers at UMass Amherst, and also serves as a link to other polymer programs beyond our campus.