UMass Amherst Enters Master Research Agreement with PPG, Global Leader in Paints, Coatings and Specialty Materials

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AMHERST, Mass. – The University of Massachusetts Amherst has entered into a master research agreement with PPG, a Pittsburgh-based company that is a global leader in paints, coatings and specialty materials.

UMass Amherst and PPG chose to enter the master agreement to streamline and encourage collaboration between PPG and university scientists. Increased collaboration exposes UMass Amherst graduate and undergraduate students to the needs and opportunities at PPG, and it provides PPG with visibility and access to talented students for future hiring demands. The agreement allows for dialogue between faculty with diverse expertise and PPG experts, enhancing the possibilities for collaboration on multiple technology fronts.

PPG will be working initially with faculty researchers in chemical engineering and polymer sciences, says James D. Capistran, former executive director of the UMass Innovation Institute, who negotiated the finalized agreement.

Capistran says the university already has nearly 20 such research agreements with private companies and research institutes and is in discussions for several more.

John Klier, professor and head of the department of chemical engineering at UMass Amherst, says they have begun a robust collaboration with PPG as part of the university-wide master agreement. Klier joined the university in 2015 after a 26-year career at the Dow Chemical Company.

Specifically, Klier says, his department has already started two research collaborations in the areas of polymer colloids. “These collaborations allow translation of fundamental discoveries made by UMass Amherst graduate students into real world applications and provide students with valuable insight into the needs and requirements of a sophisticated industrial partner,” Klier says.

“PPG appreciates the opportunity to work collaboratively with our partners at UMass,” said Jackie Kulfan, PPG proposal and contract manager in the company’s corporate innovation group. “James (Capistran) and the rest of the UMass team have taken a pragmatic approach to university-industry negotiations, allowing us to kickoff programs in just a few months.”

At PPG (NYSE:PPG), we work every day to develop and deliver the paints, coatings and materials that our customers have trusted for more than 130 years. Through dedication and creativity, we solve our customers’ biggest challenges, collaborating closely to find the right path forward. With headquarters in Pittsburgh, we operate and innovate in more than 70 countries and reported net sales of $15.4 billion in 2018. We serve customers in construction, consumer products, industrial and transportation markets and aftermarkets. To learn more, visit