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SUNY ESF Researchers to Advance Technologies Gifted by Kimberly-Clark Worldwide for Use in New Paper Products

Donated Patents to be Catalysts for Research

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — State University of New York Chancellor Robert L. King today announced that Kimberly-Clark Worldwide donated 13 U.S. patents to help the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) develop promising innovative technologies for new and improved paper based products.

“Kimberly-Clark made this gift with the goal that the research faculty at ESF will further advance the donated technologies so they may be incorporated into commercially viable products and processes,” King said. “We share this confidence that research conducted in the country’s oldest continuously operating degree-granting program in Paper Science and Engineering will transfer to the marketplace.”

Dr. D. Steven Keller, an ESF associate professor with expertise in surface chemistry of paper and papermaking materials, will lead the Paper Science and Engineering research effort that is being funded, in part, by Kimberly-Clark. The ESF team will focus on the development of the donated technologies in two areas of papermaking:

  1. Using more environmentally friendly compounds to enhance properties such as wet strength in tissue products while maintaining an acceptable balance of the overall quality and comfort properties desired in the marketplace.
  2. Innovative approaches and enzyme treatments to enhance the usefulness of recycled paper, such as newsprint.

"It's great to have the opportunity to work with scientific colleagues at Kimberly-Clark in the transfer of this technology,” Keller said. “At the same time, we can involve our students in meaningful projects with the opportunity to participate in scientific discoveries."

"This scientific relationship with Kimberly-Clark supports ESF's efforts to increase its research and education in the use of renewable bio-based products and furthers ESF's role in stimulating economic development through applied research," said ESF President Cornelius B. Murphy, Jr.

“The SUNY campus was selected as the recipient of this gift because of expertise in the departments of Paper Science and Engineering, and Environmental and Forest Biology. We believe the principal investigators within these two departments are ideally suited to pursue the development of these technologies,” said Corrine A. Sukiennik, director of the company’s Global Technology Transfer program. “We are very excited about the plans that SUNY has in place to further advance this technology. In addition, we were most impressed with the university’s connection with the Empire State Paper Research Associates (ESPRA), a consortium of leading global pulp and paper companies that models the industry-academic relationship desired in the development and commercialization of technology.”

“In the case of these gifts to SUNY, involving methods to enhance wet strength in paper and the production of soft paper products from old newspaper, they no longer fit our internal research strategy,” added James Tanner, a member of the Kimberly-Clark Worldwide Technology Transfer team. “However, we believe that these patented technologies can be further developed and, desirably, be commercialized to benefit society.”

“The gifts to SUNY are examples of how we continue to strengthen our overall industry-university relationships. Our gifts are consistent with our program to identify undeveloped technologies that can be further advanced by institutions of higher learning for eventual public use. We are extremely proud to have found such an excellent outlet for advancing these technologies through the State University of New York,” said Cheryl A. Perkins, Senior Vice President and Chief Technical Officer of Kimberly-Clark Corporation.

Kimberly-Clark Worldwide is a wholly owned subsidiary of Kimberly-Clark Corporation. Kimberly-Clark Corporation is a leading global consumer products company. Its tissue, personal care and health care products are manufactured in 43 countries and sold in more than 150. Kimberly-Clark is home to some of the world’s most trusted and recognized brands, including Kleenex®, Scott®, Huggies®, Pull-Ups®, Kotex®, and Depend®.

ESF is a specialized college of the State University of New York. The college was founded in 1911. SUNY-ESF offers bachelor's, master's and doctoral degree programs in chemistry, construction management and wood products engineering, environmental and forest biology, environmental resources and forest engineering, environmental studies, forest resources management, landscape architecture, and paper science and engineering.

The State University of New York is the largest comprehensive university system in the United States educating nearly 410,000 students in 6,688 degree and certificate programs on 64 campuses. To learn more about how SUNY creates opportunity, visit.


®Kleenex, Scott, Huggies, Pull-Ups, Kotex, and Depend are registered trademarks

Release No. 20-A

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