Research agreement will bring the University’s top scientists together with researchers from Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland.
The University of Delaware will expand its growing research and development efforts through a new agreement with the U.S. Army.
In a signing ceremony in Newark Tuesday, UD President Patrick Harker and Army Major General Nick Justice made the agreement official. Justice is Commanding General for the Army’s Research, Development and Engineering Command, as well as Installation Commander for the Arbedeen Proving Ground (APG) in Maryland. Harker says the agreement “provides the legal basis for scientists and engineers in both organizations to more efficiently work together.” He says the goal will be to “develop cooperative projects that will result in state of the art capability to support the war fighter.”
Maj. Gen. Justice says the partnership has the potential to bring about big change in the community separate of the research efforts going on in the laboratory. “The power of bringing the academic world in alignment with industry, and tapping into the power of our community and the youth of our nation, I see that happening right here.” Justice says UD’s engineering program will be one of the key strengths of the partnership. According to a Cooperative Statement of Work, which was also signed, the initial focus of the partnership will be on antenna technology and composite materials.
The university’s recent acquisition of the former Chrysler plant adjacent to campus will be the center stage for the research effort. Harker says, “Our formalized partnership with APG will be an important influence on the property’s transformation into a major center of innovation in science, technology and engineering. And a dynamic incubator of new entrepreneurial businesses.”
The business development and job creation potential of the agreement was what attracted Governor Jack Markell’s support. He says, “There’s so many opportunities for us as a state when it comes to an economic development part of this. We are as a state increasingly focused on these kinds of knowledge-based opportunities.” Markell says Delaware has a proud legacy of innovation stretching back hundreds of years. He says this partnership is an extension of that history. New Castle County sees any connection to the military expansion in Maryland as a plus for the county. This was highlighted in a November airing of FIRST, Delaware’s weekly news magazine program.