NSF, USAF partnership focuses on scientific and engineering research

WASHINGTON. The National Science Foundation (NSF) and the U.S. Air Force (USAF) are teaming up under a new partnership to collaborate on scientific and engineering research to bolster national security.

NSF Director France Córdova and Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson signed a (LOI) last week that will initiate a strategic partnership focused on in four areas of common interest: space operations and geosciences, advanced material sciences, information and , and workforce and processes.

The partnership is designed to create a pathway between the basic research supported by NSF and the technologies needed to support the Air Force of tomorrow. Common areas of interest will drive cooperation at every level of research, including basic research, applied research, and advanced technology development.

The letter states that "The Air Force will benefit from greater access to NSF’s considerably larger basic research program and community of researchers. The NSF will benefit with a direct pathway for the technical maturation of many of its research efforts and products, with increased relevance afforded by its direct support of the nation’s defense posture."

"Ensuring national security through innovation in science and engineering was part of the National Science Foundation’s founding mission nearly seven decades ago, and it remains one of our highest priorities today,” Córdova says. "We look forward to partnering with the Air Force on this collaborative venture and using our combined resources to innovate for the benefit of the nation."

“Rebuilding America’s defense capabilities has been a top priority of the since inauguration. A big part of that is translating fundamental discoveries into breakthroughs that make the country safer and drive the U.S. economy,” says Michael Kratsios, deputy assistant to the president for technology policy at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. “This partnership between two of America’s (research and development) powerhouses – the Air Force and the National Science Foundation – will ensure that taxpayer funding of basic research is made more efficient, accelerates the development of advanced technologies for both civilian and military use, and fosters job creation and economic growth into the future.”