December 10, 2010

ASU to advance aerospace, defense technologies in state

Posted: December 10, 2010

Arizona State University, together with a broad coalition of academic and industry partners, will further develop and strengthen technologies used in aerospace and military applications through an Aerospace and Defense (A&D) Research Collaboratory, established with a $1 million grant from Science Foundation Arizona’s (SFAz) Aerospace and Defense Initiative (ADI).

The ASU led A&D Research Collaboratory, in coordination with SFAz’s ADI, will work to create a competitive advantage for the aerospace and defense sector in Arizona. ADI, a statewide effort created with the support of federal stimulus funding and other dollars, serves as a central and streamlined partnership to advance A&D in the state and make Arizona a top location for A&D companies. 

While the aerospace and defense industry has a strong presence in Arizona – contributing more than $18 billion to the state’s economy each year – global A&D competition is fierce and requires states to commit to strategies to continually invest in improving existing aerospace and defense technologies, as well as cultivating new and emerging ones.     

“During the next year, we will work with the ADI directors to mature A&D technologies, connect key resources and partners in the state, and establish a framework for collaboration,” said Mitzi Montoya, executive dean of the College of Technology and Innovation and chair of the Department of Technological Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management and co-director of the A&D Research Collaboratory.

“The A&D Research Collaboratory is an important element of the overall effort to grow the aerospace and defense industry in the state of Arizona,” said Werner Dahm, ASU Foundation professor and director of ASU’s new Security and Defense Systems Initiative and co-director with Montoya. “Our sustained commitment to working extraordinarily closely with our university, industry, and government partners to develop essential new technologies will help make Arizona a location of choice for companies in this sector.”

Montoya has implemented similar collaborations while at North Carolina State University, where she helped catapult the Advanced Medical Technology industry cluster and the Innovation Lab. Dahm was the chief scientist for the U.S. Air Force prior to coming to ASU in November.

Under Dahm and Montoya’s direction, the A&D Research Collaboratory will focus on three interconnected areas:

•    Machine-to-machine and human-to-machine interactions and integration;
•    Visioning, simulation, and modeling and visualization; and
•    Information management and information assurance.

ASU’s A&D Research Collaboratory partners include the University of Arizona, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Alion Science & Technology, Wiseman Technologies Inc., Honeywell Aerospace, General Atomics, Renaissance Science Corporation, and Raytheon. New partners will become part of the effort as the network grows. 

“This type of investment in accelerating aerospace and defense technologies will ultimately pay big dividends for Arizona,” emphasized R.F. “Rick” Shangraw, Jr., senior vice president for Knowledge Enterprise Development at ASU. 

“Rapid research, development, and advancement in this sector takes a deep commitment by public and private partners to work closely together. We need a framework for doing so and that’s why this Collaboratory is significant. It allows us to bring our collective capabilities and strength to bear, and it will help enable Arizona to become the world’s leader in this area.”

About Science Foundation Arizona:
Science Foundation Arizona (SFAz) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization initiated in 2006 by the Greater Phoenix Leadership Inc., Southern Arizona Leadership Council and the Flagstaff Forty in conjunction with the executive and legislative branches of state government. SFAz serves as a catalyst for high-wage, knowledge-based jobs and economic diversity through administration and strict oversight of research, development and education grants to public education and other non-profit research performing institutions. For more information, visit www.sfaz.org

MEDIA CONTACT:
Christine Lambrakis, lambrakis@asu.edu
(480) 727-1173
(602) 316-5616