University of Kentucky, GE Appliances enter master agreement for research

Monday, June 17, 2013

The University of Kentucky (UK) and GE Appliances have entered a master agreement to collaborate on research projects that could yield new inventions in the field of major appliances.

“We have talented scientists working in a diverse array of disciplines—such as engineering, energy and Lean systems manufacturing—whose expertise will be called upon as GE continually seeks to innovate its products and its processes. Both sides stand to reap great dividends from this relationship.” UK President Eli Capilouto and Vice President for Research James W. Tracy joined GE Appliances President & CEO Chip Blankenship and Vice President of Technology Kevin Nolan today at a ceremony held at GE's Appliance Park in Louisville. The agreement specifies terms and conditions for the licensing and sharing of jointly developed intellectual property and establishes parameters for future research projects.

“Designing and manufacturing home appliances requires expertise in multiple branches of science and engineering,” said Kevin Nolan. “The research agreement between GE Appliances and UK provides the framework for working together on challenging problems and helps us leverage the technical expertise at UK.”

The agreement seeks to streamline how joint projects will take place between GE scientists and UK scientists and students in the future. “Having the agreement in place will help strengthen collaborations between UK and GE in several areas,” Tracy said.

"This partnership will provide opportunities for our faculty, and the students they mentor, to work on projects with immediate, real-world applications in industry," Tracy said. "We have talented scientists working in a diverse array of disciplines—such as engineering, energy and Lean systems manufacturing—whose expertise will be called upon as GE continually seeks to innovate its products and its processes. Both sides stand to reap great dividends from this relationship."

Capilouto praised the agreement as a step forward for Kentucky's economic development. "Today our Commonwealth's flagship university joins forces with one of the world's largest and most respected names in the field of major appliances," Capilouto said. "In a world increasingly driven by technology, there is an ever-growing need for research to make products that last longer and perform better and more efficiently. The University of Kentucky has the intellectual and human capital to help GE bring better things to life, and GE's investment in research at UK will help train a new generation of scientists and engineers."

UK and GE will collaborate on projects to improve the functionality and durability of GE’s appliances like extending the life of water-using products and continuing the work GE engineers have started to improve water filtration technologies. In the near future, GE Appliances will work with UK’s Institute for Sustainable Manufacturing to explore new manufacturing technologies and practices.

GE Appliances.