REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. (Nov. 8, 2017) -- The U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development, and Engineering Center is partnering with Wichita State University to advance military technology and accelerate delivery to the Warfighter.

A Partnership Intermediary Agreement was signed supporting a two-year, $1.9 million effort to foster new research and development collaborations addressing aviation challenges. The PIA initiative will be managed through a new FirePoint Innovations Center that will be located on Wichita State's Innovation Campus.

This PIA will provide an opportunity to address complex technology areas applicable to future vertical lift.

"We are in the process of establishing a collaborative working group, specifically through technology transfer," said Larry Smith, AMRDEC Small Business Innovation Research program coordinator. "We view this as a new tool in the toolbox that helps us frame the S&T challenge so we can move forward with future technology acceleration into the hands of the Army users."

FirePoint will work closely with AMRDEC scientists and engineers to expand engagement and collaboration in future vertical lift technologies with industry, universities, and other Department of Defense researchers. These new collaborations will assist AMRDEC to address technology gaps and enhance its ability to develop and deliver new capabilities that will continue to provide a competitive advantage to Warfighter.

Senator Jerry Moran, chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies said, "Partnerships between our nation's universities and the Department of Defense strengthen our national security, and direct access to Wichita State University enhances the department's ability to rapidly respond to mission requirements."

FirePoint will leverage the experience and competencies of Wichita State and the Wichita community, especially the National Institute for Aviation Research, College of Engineering, and local aviation industry.

"The collaboration will expand WSU's role in DoD research and development activities and will provide outstanding applied learning opportunities for our students -- synchronizing with the university's vision, mission and goals," said John Tomblin, WSU vice president for research and technology transfer. "AMRDEC's mission is vital to the strength of the nation's defense, and we're honored to have this opportunity to work closely with them."

AMRDEC's Director of the Aviation Applied Technology Directorate, Col. Steven Braddom agreed, "AMRDEC looks forward to this new partnership and to continuing to find new and innovative ways to develop, mature, and transition critical technologies."

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U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development, and Engineering Center is operationally aligned to the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command, and administratively aligned to the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command. This joint alignment established a closely woven research, development, acquisition, and sustainment team to provide increased responsiveness to the nation's Warfighters. AMRDEC has the mission to deliver collaborative and innovative aviation and missile capabilities for responsive and cost-effective research, development and life cycle engineering solutions.