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Contract for S.C. Research Authority announced

Dec. 1, 2005
Charleston Regional Business Journal
By Shelia Watson
The Office of Naval Research has signed a new contract with the South Carolina Research Authority for the operation of the Composites Manufacturing Technology Center.

The contract, which will provide funds up to $150 million over the next five years, will be administered by the SCRA’s Applied Research and Development Institute.

ARDI, established as an operational unit of the SCRA in October 2000, is a multidisciplinary organization that manages the development and implementation of innovative solutions for materials applications and technology transfer between industries, universities and government agencies.

The principal focus of composites technology development at ARDI is the Composites Manufacturing Technology Center, which develops improved manufacturing processes and facilitates technology transfer for the resolution of composite materials manufacturing and repair issues that are identified and prioritized by the Navy’s Program Executive Offices and other Department of Defense services and industry.

The developed technologies have application to modern DOD aircraft, surface ships, submarines, land vehicles and associated weapons and missiles.

The CMTC is the Navy’s Center of Excellence for composites manufacturing technology and is focused exclusively on advanced composite materials and applications.

The centers are focal points for the development of manufacturing processes and equipment in a cooperative environment with industry, academia and the Navy’s industrial facilities and laboratories.

The CMTC chairs The Composites Consortium, an industry-focused team of prime contractors for weapons systems, composites industry suppliers, universities and institutes. The TCC is the technology resource for the CMTC.

The performance teams for all projects managed through the CMTC are assembled from TCC membership. The CMTC draws upon the knowledge, experience and collective expertise of the consortium membership in the resolution of composite materials manufacturing and repair problems.

U.S. Rep. J. Gresham Barrett, R-Westminster, joined U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint, R-Greenville, in making the announcement.

“I am pleased to announce that the South Carolina Research Authority has once again been awarded this contract,” said Barrett. “As a nation at war, we are relying even more on the experts at SCRA and ARDI to help ensure our military is using the most up to date technology. I know the folks at SCRA and trust in their ability to find practical solutions to everyday challenges facing our military.”

“This contract allows South Carolina to contribute to the future of the Navy and to keep our nation’s defense a step ahead of our enemies,” said DeMint. “I applaud the SCRA for their hard work and continued success.”

SCRA President Bill Mahoney said the award was a competitive bid that was won against a previously supported center, Great Lakes Composites Center. The award, given in five-year terms, had come up for re-compete.

“We won against an incumbent,” said Mahoney. “That speaks to the excellence of the core research at Clemson in composite materials, as well as to SCRA’s and ARDI’s reputation.”
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