N.C. State and Eastman Chemical Company are teaming up for a new lab under a six-year contract.

Eastman Chemical (NYSE: EMN) will provide $10 million over six years to NCSU to create a research lab at NCSU’s Centennial Campus for joint research in chemicals and materials science.

The agreement was announced Monday.

Eastman, which is based in Kingsport, Tenn., will house a 2,000 square foot lab as part of the Eastman Chemical Company Center of Excellence. The lab is expected to open early next year.

“This agreement demonstrates NC State’s commitment to be a leader in public-private research partnerships,” said NCSU Chancellor Randy Woodson in announcing the deal. “Our work with Eastman Chemical Company provides NC State researchers and students many exciting opportunities to address real-world problems in chemistry and material sciences, and will reduce the time required to take innovative solutions to market.”

NCSU’s Dr. Terri Lomax, who is vice chancellor for research, innovation and economic development, described the collaborative research project as a “unique intellectual property agreement.”

Dr. Greg Nelson, chief technology officer at Eastman Chemical, said the company and NCSU would collaborate to “bring differentiated new ideas, technologies and materials from early stage research to the market more quickly than traditional approaches.”

The commercialization of discoveries made on campuses is a major challenge for universities across the country.

NCSU and Eastman noted that the agreement “allows visiting Eastman scientists to work in NC State labs and allows NC State researchers to do the same at Eastman sites. NC State students are also expected to participate in the research projects.”

NCSU expects research to include chemistry, chemical and biomolecular engineering, materials science and engineering, textile engineering, chemistry and science, forest biomaterials; and graphic design and industrial design. NCSU’s Center for Innovation Management Studies is also expected to be involved.