PRINCETON UNIVERSITY -- Researchers at Picatinny Arsenal and their counterparts at Princeton University entered into an agreement here June 6 to share information and collaborate to promote energy and environmental research and to get the most out of technology transfers for defense and industry.

To further those goals, a formal memorandum of agreement (MOA) was signed between Princeton's Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment, Picatinny Arsenal, and the arsenal's largest tenant, the U.S. Army Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center (ARDEC).

The intent of the MOA is to establish a mutual framework for information exchange and collaboration between Picatinny and the Andlinger Center, which is part of Princeton's School of Engineering and Applied Science.

"The U.S. Army recognizes that energy and environmental sustainability are enablers for mission readiness and are critical to our national security," states the MOA.

The MOA continues: "Military leadership is therefore committed to improving the resiliency of installations and operations through energy source diversification, water conservation, waste minimization, land resource conservation and green-house-gas reduction."

The three signatories were Pablo Debenedetti, Dean for Research at Princeton University; John F. Hedderich III, Director, ARDEC; and Brig. Gen. Patrick Burden, Senior Commander of Picatinny Arsenal.

"Obtaining dependable and renewable energy is important to Picatinny Arsenal and the Army," said Burden.

"Providing environmentally sound solutions and new capabilities aims to protect our Soldiers," the general added.

"Not only here, but our servicemembers around the world, so I think we all know how it important it is for us. We need dependable and renewable energy here at home and on the battlefields around the world.

"Moving fuel and moving water around the battlefield, this is not only about saving money but saving lives, because we know how dangerous it is when we have convoys in the field," Burden explained.

"Less convoys on the route, less risk our servicemembers are taking as they transport energy services to our troops on the battlefield."

The Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment supports a vibrant and expanding program of research and teaching in the areas of sustainable energy development, energy efficiency, and environmental protection and remediation related to energy.

"It's easy to see why this should work out fantastically for all parties involved," said Debenedetti.

"The Army's commitment to sustainable energy and the environment aligns extremely well with the Andlinger Center's mission which is to translate fundamental knowledge into practical solutions that will enable sustainable energy production and will protect the environment from energy related anthropogenic change, climate change," Debenedetti added.

"This seems like a match made in heaven."

The Andlinger Center collects expertise from many different departments and colleges to focus on mission-oriented research and can assist the army in becoming a national model for environmental and centers and military bases, while developing innovative solutions to environmental problems of communities in the state.

"We are not just saving the lives of our current warfighters, but our children," Hedderich said.

"We are taking things that our forefathers put in the ground, polluting the environment so to say, and cleaning that up all over the world. We are taking things that would normally be discarded along the way, and making the world better for our children, and their children."

Hedderich's organization conducts energy and sustainability research for broad applications in manufacturing, materials reuse, and recycling; reducing waste, conserving water and preventing pollution.

Consisting of more than 3,600 employees and 450 buildings and laboratories, ARDEC's core competencies include energetics research, material science, manufacturing processes, virtual reality and simulation, image process and non-destructive testing.

As part of its demilitarization process, ARDEC has conducted research on converting propellants to biofuel. The "green" alternative to opening burning or open detonation is not only cheaper than incineration but does not produce greenhouse gas.

The agreement is the first step in initiating a dialogue and developing a path forward that facilitates communication, interaction and research in the areas of energy, and environmental sustainability.

The agreement includes annual on-site meetings between the parties, as well as the designation of a liaison officer for single point of contact for coordination among the Picatinny Arsenal garrison, ARDEC and the Andlinger Center.