Department Seeks Greater Partnerships with Academic Research Centers > U.S. Department of Defense > Department of Defense News

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Maintaining the nation’s technological superiority is one of the Department of Defense’s primary goals, and ensuring that this happens means that the DOD must seek various contributions from a variety of sources, including researchers at colleges. and historically black universities, as well as institutions serving minorities, too. known as HBCU/MI, said David A. Honey, deputy assistant secretary of defense for research and engineering.

“As the federal department with the largest investment in research and development, DOD must continue to make progress in removing barriers to equal opportunity in research contracts and partnerships,” Honey said. “It starts with developing an inclusive culture to help build trusting relationships between our university-operated contract labs and the HBCU/MI community.”

The Under Secretary spoke today at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine town hall series, which is funded by the Office of the Secretary of Defense through the HBCU/ MID.

The department has 14 University-Affiliated Research Centers, or UARCs, which Honey says are an essential part of its innovation base. They also provide some of the independent and objective scientific and technical expertise on which the ministry relies to develop and maintain the country’s technological superiority.

“These research centers act as trusted advisors to the DOD using their core competencies to address departmental priorities,” Honey said.

Already, Honey said, the department is working to forge more partnerships between its UARCs and HBCU/MI. An example of this is a pilot program at the University of Maryland, College Park Applied Research Laboratory for Intelligence and Security.

This UARC now has a partnership with three HBCUs, including Howard University and the University of the District of Columbia in Washington, DC, as well as Morgan State University in Baltimore, he said.

“[They] support research projects that address modernization priorities established by the DOD, to include 5G, artificial intelligence and machine learning, cyber assessments, and the chat bot testbed, which will explore the deployment of a usable multilingual solution to understand information issues influencing operations and insider threats,” he said. “I am very confident that more partnerships like this will continue to be explored and established in the future.

To continue to build and maintain its technological superiority, DOD will continue to work with universities, including HBCU/MI, to ensure top talent is harnessed to meet the nation’s needs, Honey said.

“We strive to level the playing field for all research institutions, so that the best possible expertise is available to the department,” Honey said. “DOD strives to harness the technological and scientific knowledge of a community that represents the diverse backgrounds of the American people.”

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