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Voridian Company Donates Technology to the University of South Carolina

KINGSPORT, Tenn., April 2, 2002 – Voridian Company, a division of Eastman Chemical Company, today announced a multimillion-dollar gift of intellectual property to the University of South Carolina.

The centerpiece of the gift, which includes patents for creating stronger, more impermeable packaging materials, is a cutting-edge process that uses nanotechnology and clay to improve and strengthen bottling for beer and other beverage applications. USC plans to develop the technology further and market it to industry with a team of researchers in USC’s NanoCenter, which was established in 2001 with $2 million in state funding and is rapidly becoming a hub for cutting-edge research.

The technology has been used to develop and commercialize a product called Imperm which features a layer of particles so minute that they cannot be seen by the human eye, sandwiched between two layers of plastic. The three-layer material helps prevent drinks from going flat by sealing in carbon dioxide and keeping oxygen out.

The technology has been valued in the range of $10-20 million, and with further research, USC officials are optimistic about increasing its value.

"This gift of nanocomposite technologies could not have come at a better time for the University of South Carolina," said Dr. Anthony Boccanfuso, managing director of the University of South Carolina Research Foundation, which has oversight of patents and licensing for the university "We have received substantial support from the state, the federal government, and the private sector to assist the university in establishing its NanoCenter, and Eastman's patents and know-how greatly advance our capabilities and expertise in the nanocomposites area."

Under the agreement, Voridian will provide USC with extensive proprietary technology, help in its development and work with USC to license the technology.

Thomas A. Smith, group vice president, Polymers, said the agreement continues a longstanding relationship between USC, Voridian and Eastman.

"Eastman and USC have had a relationship for many years, especially with the Voridian flagship manufacturing facility located near Columbia," Smith said. "A number of USC graduates are employed throughout our company. This donation will strengthen our already strong relationship."

Boccanfuso said the technology would be developed further by a team of researchers led by Dr. T. P. Papathanasiou, a professor of chemical engineering.

Under the direction of Dr. Richard Adams, USC's Nanocenter is rapidly becoming a hub for science and engineering studies of nanometer-scale structures, their unique properties, and their practical applications. "Nano" means one-billionth of something, such as a second or a meter, and nanoscience is considered the next frontier of science.

Voridian manufactures and markets polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastics, acetate fibers and polyethylene resins. With headquarters in Kingsport, Tenn., the division operates eight manufacturing plants in six countries and has 3,400 employees worldwide.

Media Contact:
Voridian: Landis Sandel (803) 791-3077 / llsandel@voridian.com
USC: Margaret Lamb (803) 777-5400 / Margaretl@gwm.sc.edu

Eastman Investor Relations Contacts:
MaryAnn Arico (423) 229-8692 / maarico@eastman.com

Editors: For more information about Voridian, visit www.voridian.com


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