Pentagon awards research grants

The Defense Department has announced that its Defense Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research will award $15.7 million in research and engineering grants to 24 academic institutions in 18 states in fiscal 2008.

The grants are intended to increase research opportunities in states that receive the least federal funding for university-based research. Each year, DOD picks the states that will be eligible to participate in the program. In 2008, officials opened the program to 21 states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The Army Research Office, the Office of Naval Research and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research share administration of the program and jointly solicit proposals from committees in each state. The state committees choose which research projects to submit to DOD.

In 2008, academic institutions in Alaska, Arkansas, Delaware, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Vermont, West Virginia and Wyoming were eligible to compete for grants. Receipt of funds is subject to negotiations between the institutions and DOD on the terms of the grant arrangement, department officials said.

As a reflection of the military's emphasis on network-centric warfare, the list of projects chosen for 2008 grants is heavily weighted toward advanced research in the computing, microprocessing and networking fields.

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