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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 321-03
May 13, 2003

UNIVERSITIES SELECTED FOR TRANSFORMATIONAL INITIATIVES AWARDS

The Department of Defense (DoD) today announced the selection of six universities to receive research grants as a part of its effort to transform research programs to exploit emerging scientific opportunities and to be more responsive to DoD needs. The six awards total approximately $4.1 million in fiscal 2003, and up to $28.4 million over five years. The research grants are a part of the DoD Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI) program, which focuses on multidisciplinary research themes vital to national defense. All awards are subject to the successful completion of negotiations between DoD research offices and the academic institutions.

The transformational initiatives include long-chained sequence-controlled heteropolymers and laboratory design instrumentation research. While most of today's polymers are macromolecules formed by long chains of monomers, a long sought after goal in polymer science is to be able to synthesize long chains of heteropolymers with a well controlled and repetitive sequence. This research will open up new possibilities and will fundamentally change the way we think about polymers for DoD applications.

The laboratory design instrumentation research is focused on a systematic and sustained effort towards the development of the next generation of research tools, as well as the development of a new cadre of scientists and engineers who are experts in the art and science of building instruments, devices, and equipment. The selected awards including single photon sources, nanoprobes and next-generation epitaxy will indeed lead us to new discoveries that have yet to be explained. These new research tools will revolutionize scientific research and transform our research programs to be more responsive to national security needs.

Today's announcement is the result of a merit competition as a part of the DoD MURI program. The awards will provide support for research, graduate students and laboratory instrumentation development. These awards represent DoD's long-term commitment to supporting basic science research and transformational initiatives.

The six universities selected to receive research grants focusing on the transformational initiatives may be found on the Web at: http://www.defenselink.mil/news/May2003/d20030513trans.pdf