Acting director of Defense Research and Engineering George T. Singley III, today announced establishment of the government-industry co-sponsored, university research (GICUR) program which will fund U.S. university consortia to conduct long range basic research critical to both public and private sectors. This initiative, in its first year, will provide matching industry and government funds, totaling $14 million in Fiscal Year 1998.
Cooperative agreements between the Department of Defense and organizations representing the long range research interests of industry have tentatively selected two program areas to concentrate on--complex interactive networks and semiconductor electronics. The complex interactive networks program will be co-sponsored by EPRI, the collaborative science and technology organization representing the utility power industry, located in Palo Alto, Calif. This initiative will increase the reliability, stability and efficiency of very large, complex electronic networks. One of the more far-reaching results of GICUR will be of strategic importance to electric utility companies and other users of large electronic networks to minimize failures in large power grids. The EPRI organization is matching government funding at least on a dollar-for-dollar basis.
The second program area, semiconductor electronics, will concentrate upon fundamental design issues to sustain the current microelectronics revolution. The goal of this project is to significantly increase the number of components housed on a computer chip. This advance will result in a dramatic increase in the speed and capacity for information processing. The ability to achieve the computational power of a "supercomputer on a chip" will enable ultracompact and powerful personal communication devices.
Solicitations of research proposals from universities will be announced in January 1998. Multiple awards will be competitively selected and are scheduled to be announced in May 1998. This program will support selected university consortia for three years, with the possibility of extension for up to two years, as progress warrants, to bring the total award to five years. Funding can vary between proposals, ranging between $1 million to $5 million for each of three years.
Today's announcement highlights the cooperation among industry, government and academe to strengthen basic research. The government-industry co-sponsored university research initiative is forging a new model to address long term research opportunities and sustain national economic and military competitiveness well into the 21st Century.