Army researchers focus on partnerships
ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. (Feb. 25, 2014) -- Army researchers, scientists and engineers are collaborating and sharing to leverage limited resources and discover leap-ahead technologies.
"I think collaboration is really essential," said Heidi Shyu, assistant secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology. "No single person or organization possesses a monopoly on innovative ideas. It is critical for us to collaborate with industry, academia, federally funded R&D centers and other government organizations to solve difficult problems. So my vision is that we will collaborate across the board to spur innovation."
Shyu gave the featured interview in the March issue of Army Technology Magazine, a publication of science and technology news from the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, also known as RDECOM. Partnership is the focus of the new issue.
RDECOM has six research and engineering centers, three international forward element commands and the U.S. Army Research Laboratory on the hunt for new technology solutions for Soldiers. Army research is an intricate web of partnerships among industry, academia, international governments and companies, U.S. government agencies and military offices and commands.
"We are exploring new ideas to get more people with ideas together to come up with more innovative solutions," said RDECOM Director Dale A. Ormond. "RDECOM depends on partnerships to develop world-class technology and engineering solutions. Our mission is only achievable if we continue to reach out and build partnerships across all of our core competencies."
Ormond said Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno, has called for a "globally responsive and regionally engaged Army that is ready and modern."
As the Army plans for smaller brigade combat teams by 2025, the mandate is to maintain or even increase lethality.
"The chief is relying on the S&T community to provide technologies that can be developed and fielded to meet that timeline," Ormond said. "We are an integral team member."
In Detroit, major industry players entered into an agreement with Army automotive engineers. U.S. Sen. Carl Levin and U.S. Rep. Sander Levin, both of Michigan, joined Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center Technical Director Dr. Paul Rogers and Charlie Freese, General Motors global fuel cell activities executive director to herald a formal research agreement at the Ground Systems Power and Energy Laboratory.
"This agreement with GM offers the U.S. Army a unique opportunity to collaborate with a phenomenal partner -- a partner that is a world innovator in automotive technologies," Rogers said. "The laboratory is our meeting place where we can bring the best and brightest ideas from government and industry to solve the hardest problems the military faces."
Engineers at Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center collaborate with NASA scientists on logistics, engineering, safety, quality and assurance.
By working with NASA, the Army has increased its capability to produce larger amounts of solid rocket propellant and also helped to train the next generation of chemists and chemical engineers.
"We face many of the same issues, and when we share best practices with each other, both organizations benefit," Ormond said. "To be a ready and modern Army, the Army research and development community will step up, innovate and deliver ground-breaking solutions."
Army Technology Magazine is available as an electronic download, or print publication. Army Technology Magazine is an authorized, unofficial publication published under AR 360-1, for all members of the Department of Defense and the general public.
RDECOM is a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Materiel Command. AMC is the Army's premier provider of materiel readiness -- technology, acquisition support, materiel development, logistics power projection, and sustainment -- to the total force, across the spectrum of joint military operations. If a Soldier shoots it, drives it, flies it, wears it, eats it or communicates with it, AMC delivers it.