News 1998 Army Science and Technology Master Plan

9. Other Academic Leveraging

During times of seriously diminishing budgets, increased leveraging becomes more desirable and necessary to help mitigate the impact of funding cutbacks on R&D programs. In addition to the preceding academic programs, the Army is significantly leveraging several other major academic institutions and consortia.

The Center for Advanced Food Technology (CAFT) at Rutgers University is funded by industrial member fees, State of New Jersey funding, Rutgers University funding, and government grants. The Army’s basic membership fee is leveraged by a factor of 60 in relation to the overall CAFT operating budget. Members, including the Natick Research, Development and Engineering Center (NRDEC), have an active role in selecting research projects for funding and monitoring their progress. Research reports are provided to members and active collaboration with CAFT investigators is ongoing for NRDEC. CAFT work complements in–house Army R&D.

The Oregon State University Consortium for High Pressure Food Preservation is another example of the Army’s receiving a greater return on a relatively small investment. Similarly, the Ohio State University Center for Non–Thermal Processing is being leveraged in its effort to move pulse electric field processing to commercialization, which will benefit the Army as well as the private sector.

The Army also participates in the University of Massachusetts (Amherst) Center for Research in Polymers, where new polymers and polymeric materials are explored. NRDEC has recently initiated a student research experience program with the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth (UMD), whereby students from the Textile Science Department will work on Army projects for college credit. This program is expected to expand to other UMD departments. UMD is being further leveraged due to its recent research involvement with the National Textile Center.

The airdrop program at NRDEC has been leveraged by work at the Universities of Minnesota and Connecticut and more recently at the South Dakota Bureau of Mines and Technology and Parks College of Saint Louis University. These efforts are focused on airdrop system modeling and computer designs of complex fluid structure interactions and have minimized the need to build and test multiple prototypes. Teaming with experienced universities has significantly reduced the time required to achieve desired goals.

NRDEC and ARL hold a joint membership in the Northeastern University Center for Electromagnetics Research, which conducts research in the area of electromagnetic waves and their interactions with materials. As a voting member of the center, NRDEC can impact the direction of ongoing and future research efforts to support the needs of the Army, which benefits significantly from this leveraging.

The effective leveraging of quality academic institutions, centers, and programs has greatly assisted numerous significant Army efforts, which are experiencing resource reductions.

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