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Florida Tech, AFTAC Renew Research Partnership

Three-Year Extension Expands 2016 Agreement          

MELBOURNE, FLA. — Florida Tech and the Air Force Technical Applications Center have renewed and expanded a 2016 research and development agreement that will have the two Brevard-based organizations working closely in a host of technological areas, including cloud computing and modeling and simulation.

Leaders from AFTAC and Florida Tech held a ceremonial signing of the Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) on March 1 at the Melbourne university. A CRADA is a government contract allowing for research and development collaboration between federal laboratories and non-federal entities to provide quick exchanges of research that can be leveraged by both parties to yield powerful, scientific results.

First executed three years ago, the CRADA Florida Tech and AFTAC entered into this month expands on the original. Initially focused on cloud computing, the agreement has since expanded to encompass all of AFTAC’s mission sets (geophysical, nuclear materials and detonations, prompt diagnostics, and atmosphere and space operations), along with cross-cutting areas of innovation and environmental science. 

“This partnership between Florida Tech and AFTAC has created an avenue to connect our faculty with AFTAC researchers to innovate and solve technical problems,” said Gisele Bennett, Florida Tech’s senior vice president for research, who signed the agreement with Glenn Sjoden, AFTAC’s chief scientist. “We are enthusiastic about expanding the scientific opportunities for both organizations over the next three years.”

AFTAC entered into its initial CRADA with Florida Tech to explore high performance cloud computing, modeling and simulation. The agreement tasks the nuclear treaty monitoring center with providing subject matter expertise in nuclear analysis and event detection, and tasks the university with performing research in pattern recognition, machine learning, high-performance computing, information assurance and geophysical monitoring and simulation – all in a secure environment.

“Florida Tech has incredible capability and resources to offer and I believe we have just scratched the surface,” Sjoden said. “As the familiarity with AFTAC’s mission grows, I expect Florida Tech will establish new connections with its researchers to provide exponential growth of knowledge and collaborative research for AFTAC, while simultaneously establishing a firm foothold in the arena of classified university research. It is a win-win for everyone involved.”

According to the agreement, it is estimated the Air Force will save more than $500,000 from the collaborative efforts between the two organizations.

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