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Georgia Tech's Renewable Bioproducts Institute Receives $43.6 Million in Legacy Funding

Paper Chemistry Foundation gift supports future of forest bioproducts research and education.

by Georgia Institute of Technology
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The Instititue of Paper Science and Technology is now the Renewable Bioproducts Institute.Image courtesy of the Georgia Institute of TechnologyThe Georgia Institute of Technology has received a $43.6 million gift from the Institute of Paper Chemistry Foundation (IPCF). This major grant, one of the single largest gifts in Georgia Tech’s history, affirms the Institute’s position as a leading driver of the future of the forest bioproducts industry.

“We are extremely grateful to the Institute of Paper Chemistry Foundation for entrusting us with this generous gift,” said Georgia Tech President G.P. “Bud” Peterson. “Through the Renewable Bioproducts Institute, we will maximize Georgia Tech’s and the state of Georgia’s strengths in sustainability and innovation to develop real-world applications as well as educate the next generation of leadership in the forest and bioproducts industry.”

The Institute of Paper Chemistry Foundation represents the legacy of the Institute of Paper Chemistry (IPC), founded in Appleton, Wisconsin, in 1929 to provide scientific research and future leaders for the paper industry. IPC became the Institute of Paper Science and Technology (IPST) when it relocated to Atlanta in 1989. It subsequently merged with Georgia Tech in 2004. 

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Last week, Georgia Tech announced that the Institute would be renamed the Renewable Bioproducts Institute (RBI) to reflect its expanding engagement with a broader range of biomaterials processing industries. Like the university’s other nine interdisciplinary research institutes representing Georgia Tech’s core research areas, RBI brings together a multidisciplinary capability to identify opportunities and address the complex challenges of its industry and government research partners.

“We believe the relaunching of the Institute as the Renewable Bioproducts Institute is a natural development in its evolution and an important advance in its progress,” said IPCF board chair George Lanier. “Georgia Tech is demonstrating its commitment to this industry, which is so important to Georgia and the nation. The industry’s emerging opportunities can be effectively developed there.”

All interdisciplinary research institutes at Georgia Tech are designed to facilitate research collaborations with industries and other partners to develop opportunities in strategic market areas, emphasizing economic development and applied technology. 

“We deeply appreciate the confidence IPCF has placed in us,” said RBI executive director Norman Marsolan, “and we will continue its legacy of growth in bioproducts research and industry leadership development. We are on the threshold of a new era of development of this renewable, sustainable natural resource, and we pledge our efforts to justify IPCF’s faith in us by contributing to the full realization of its potential.”    

The Renewable Bioproducts Institute benefits from a significant endowment originating with the Institute of Paper Chemistry. That endowment has contributed to the support of more than 1,500 graduate alumni through the years and currently supports more than 50 paper science and engineering students who advance the research mission of IPST/RBI through their faculty-directed research. RBI will continue to build on that legacy by working closely with industrial partners to foster an innovative, competitive and profitable bioproducts industry, while the endowment will continue to support graduate studies in paper science and engineering.

For more information on RBI, please visit