Collaboration to Alliance

Industry, academia and government collaboration highlights different approaches

By Joyce Brayboy, ARL Public Affairs


Collaborative Technology and Research Alliances are partnerships between the Army, industry and academia that are focusing on the rapid transition of innovative technologies for the Army’s future force.

The collaboration between industry, academia and the government is a key element of the alliance concept as each member brings with it a distinctly different approach to research.

ARL researchers pull from the expertise of Research, Development and Engineering Command organizations to keep the program oriented toward solving the Army’s technology challenges.

Academia is instrumental for its cutting-edge innovation; the industrial partners are able to leverage existing research results for transition and to deal with technology bottlenecks.

The multidisciplinary research teams bring together world class research and development talent and focus it on the Soldier.

ARL has a history of successful collaborations bringing together the triad of industry, academia and government, dating back to the 1990s.

There are currently four active CTAs:

Two Collaborative Research Alliances, or CRAs, were awarded in 2012: Electronic Materials, and Materials in Extreme Dynamic Environments. Finally, the most recent Collaborative Research Alliance in the area of Cyber Security was announced last year.

Each CTA and CRA has a distinctive mission and focus. The MAST CTA conducts research and transitions technology that will enhance warfighter’s tactical situational awareness in urban and complex terrain through the autonomous systems. The Network Science CTA performs cross-cutting research of common underlying science among social and cognitive, information, and communications networks to enhance effectiveness in network-enabled warfare.

The Robotics CTA enables the creation of future highly autonomous unmanned systems and permits those systems to conduct military operations in mixed environments.

The Cognition and Neuroergonomics CTA conducts research leading to fundamental translational principles of the application of neuroscience-based research and theory to complex operational settings.

The Multi-Scale Multidisciplinary Modeling of Electronic Materials CRA is developing a quantitative understanding of materials from the atomic scales to advance the state of the art in electronic, optoelectronic and electrochemical materials and devices.

The Materials in Extreme Dynamic Environments CRA is establishing the capability to design materials for use in specific dynamic environments, especially high strain-rate applications.

The most recent CRA came about when ARL established a group led by Pennsylvania State University last year. The alliance includes ARL, CERDEC, academia and industry researchers to explore the basic foundations of cyber-science issues in the context of Army networks.

For information about the Collaborative Technology or Research Alliances, call Kelly Foster at (301) 394-5503.