ALLENTOWN, PA - GEO Specialty Chemicals Inc., a supplier of resin products and additives for coatings, announced a collaboration agreement with the University of Southern Mississippi's International Coatings and Formulation Institute (ICFI) involving a research program designed to develop new, environmentally friendly waterborne polyurethane dispersion coatings.

GEO said a major part of the research program will focus on the development of a novel functionalized diol for use in waterborne polyurethane dispersions, with another phase of the research expected to involve key application areas, including the formulation of powder-coatings polyesters.

GEO Specialty Chemicals said it is a new member of USM's Coatings and Formulation Institute, headed by Executive Director Shelby F. Thames. The company said it is funding the joint, proprietary research program, which begins this month.

GEO Specialty Chemicals, based in Allentown, PA, is a supplier of specialty chemicals for coatings and several other industrial markets.