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CoE research centers win additional federal funding

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CoE research centers win additional federal funding

Two MU College of Engineering research centers probably will celebrate their one–year milestones with a $6 million shot in the arm from the federal government.

The Senate Appropriations Committee in Washington, D.C. has included $3.5 million for the CoE’s International Center for Nano/Micro Systems and Nanotechnology in next year’s national defense budget, Sen. Kit Bond said during a July 29 press conference. CoE’s Center for Geospatial Intelligence is slated to receive $2.5 million in defense funding next year, said Bond, R–Mo. and a senior appropriations committee member.

“Missouri has been and continues to be both a leader and a pioneer in meeting our nation’s aerospace, defense and homeland security needs,” Bond said. “The University of Missouri is continuing in that proud tradition through these research centers.”

Officials expect a final congressional vote on the budget in December. If approved, next year’s budget would reinforce the federal backing that has supported the CoE research centers since their inception in December 2005.

CoE’s nanotechnology center, which researches and develops miniaturized technologies that can be used for military as well as medical and commercial purposes, won $2 million in defense funding this year. The U.S. Army also awarded the center a $4.79 million contract last spring to develop several new ways to combine microchip technology with nanotechnology.

The geospatial intelligence center, which develops computer software to sift through and analyze geospatial information vital to national security, earned $1.75 million in defense funding this year.

The money earmarked for the CoE centers will help nourish their long-term viability even as it finances defense–oriented research, said Noah Manring, the CoE’s associate dean for research.

“These two years of federal funding show sustained interest in our programs,” Manring said.

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