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Air Force, National Science Foundation Boost Cooperation for National Security


The Air Force and the National Science Foundation are boosting cooperation on mutual scientific research in support of national security.

Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson and National Science Foundation Director France Cordova signed a letter of intent today, initiating a strategic partnership that focuses on four areas: space and geosciences, advanced materials sciences, information and data science, and the development of the scientific workforce.

The work of the Air Force and the National Science Foundation has overlapped in the decades since the founding of the two institutions, in areas such as atmospheric science, chemistry, material science, human physiology, aeronautics and astronautics, Wilson said.

“We now face the re-emergence of great power competition,” Wilson said, explaining the new partnership brings the two institutions closer to jointly pursue research, expand understanding and provide for the common defense.

The agreement, Cordova said, creates a new pathway between the basic research supported by the National Science Foundation and the breakthrough technologies needed to support the Air Force of tomorrow.

National Security Through Innovation

“Ensuring national security through innovation and science and engineering has been part of the National Science Foundation’s founding mission for nearly seven decades,” she said, “and it remains one of our highest priorities today.”

This new partnership will help accelerate the research and development cycle and ensure that more basic research breakthroughs are considered for the potential national security applications, she explained.

“It will drive cooperation at every level of research and will maximize collaboration, avoiding duplicative efforts and resulting in discoveries that support jobs, the nation’s economy and our national security,” Cordova said.

(Follow Lisa Ferdinando on Twitter: @FerdinandoDoD)