The University of Nebraska last week announced a long-term partnership with the United States Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) at Offut Air Force Base to create a University-Affiliated Research Center (UARC).
The center will provide research and development services in support of critical national security applications such as nuclear detection and forensics, detection of chemical and biological weapons, passive defense against weapons of mass destruction, consequence management, and space, cyber and telecommunications law.
In the biodefense realm, University of Nebraska medical researchers have a respected history for developing methodologies to detect neurotoxins and biological agents. Researchers from physics, chemistry, engineering, and computer science are engaged in ongoing development of novel molecular, magnetic field, and biodetection sensors, as well as autonomous and adaptive sensor networks.
The University of Nebraska additionally offers unique expertise in consequence management applications such as decision support software, disaster mitigation, hazard modeling, biosurveillance monitoring, public health laboratory diagnostics tools, forecasting models, and information technology to enhance communication and critical infrastructure protection.
The initial contract award from the Department of Defense provides for up to $84 million over five years to support the early research activities of the organization, housed within the University’s newly designated National Strategic Research Institute.
The University of Nebraska now joins a DoD-sponsored network of 13 other strategic University Affiliated Research Centers including:
Gen. C. Robert Kehler, Commander of the United States Strategic Command, said that “this UARC will create an important strategic relationship between DoD and the University of Nebraska, and will provide STRATCOM and the DoD essential engineering and research.”