Success Story

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3M and Penn State strike new three-year deal to drive research

As Penn State Materials Research Institute prepared for its 2019 Materials Day event – held October 29th and 30th – 3M was busy reinforcing its relationship with Penn State to advance research activities with a new $900,000 commitment over the next three years.

The new agreement harnessed the efforts of 3M alongside the Penn State Materials Research Institute, Penn State Corporate Engagement, and the Penn State Office of Industrial Partnerships.

The new initiative extends 3M’s work with Penn State, which originally launched in 2014. Since then, 3M has donated $1.55 million in outright gifts, nearly $21,000 in gifts-in-kind, and more than $9,000 in matching gifts, as well as providing more than $759,000 in research grants. With 3M’s renewed commitment, Penn State will continue those research efforts and embark on new initiatives.

The new, multi-year pact was memorialized in a signing ceremony on Monday, October 28th, and included university lab and facilities tours for 3M corporate representatives. Materials Day also featured keynote speaker Greg Anderson, vice president of 3M’s Corporate Research Lab, which drives development of new technology across the global 3M R&D organization.

Anderson was joined by Charles Shaklee, Ph.D., a 1994 Penn State alumnus in the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences. Dr. Shaklee serves as technical director for 3M’s Corporate Research Process Laboratory and acts as a corporate representative for 3M’s relationship with Penn State.

“It’s important for 3M to work with researchers and students who are passionate about creating solutions that are meaningful and make people’s lives better,” said Anderson. “Penn State and 3M share a common purpose-driven strategy to tackle problems, big and small, in pursuit of improving humankind.”

The work with Penn State is testament to 3M’s broader commitment to education, including increasing STEM exposure in K-12 classrooms and in afterschool activities; supporting experiential learning opportunities for high-school students; enhancing the quality of STEM teaching by investing in teacher professional development; and providing scholarships and supporting professional development opportunities for diverse students.

3M helps students pursue careers in STEM by providing scholarships, including the Wallin Education Scholarship, and UNCF Scholarships aimed at minorities.

3M’s commitment to Penn State research stretches beyond a financial commitment. The St. Paul, MN-based company participates in career fairs, has posted 15 positions, made nine full-time hires in the 2018-2019 academic year alone and is currently licensing university-developed technology. Today, there are approximately 100 Penn State alumni employed on average at 3M.

“3M is committed to innovative research that continues to improve the world,” said Lora Weiss, senior vice president for research, Penn State University. “And, we are proud to partner with 3M to help educate and empower Penn State students to create new technological solutions that solve real-world problems.”