Owens-Illinois (O-I) has signed a three-year agreement with the University of Toledo (UT) College of Engineering, Chemical & Environmental Engineering Department, to support research at its new R&D Innovation Centre.

Scheduled to be completed by the autumn of 2013, the R&D Innovation Centre will produce sample glass containers using new manufacturing technologies and product designs being tested by the company.

"We are excited about the opportunity to use UT´s state-of-the-art equipment to help us advance our understanding of basic principles," said Dr Kimberly Houchens, Vice President of R&D for O-I.

UT´s College of Engineering, Chemical & Environmental Engineering Department has considerable experience developing and characterising other types of sustainable materials. "This partnership with O-I will give us an opportunity to expand our efforts and add glass to our materials experience, giving our students new opportunities to learn and grow," said Dr Maria Coleman, Professor and Co-Director of UT´s Institute for Sustainable Engineering Materials.

The agreement covers salary and fees for graduate research assistants to partner with O-I scientists and engineers. The budget also covers the purchase of newly available equipment specific to characterise glass, and fees to use UT´s existing equipment, including X-ray diffraction and scanning electron microscopy instruments.