The awards, in 23 research areas, come under the Defense Department's Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative and will be made by the U.S. Army Research Office, the Office of Naval Research and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research.
It is envisaged that 63 academic institutions will participate in the program, which is for five years and which will award $155 million.
"Research funded by the MURI program opens up entirely new areas of scientific inquiry, and builds the foundation for future capabilities that will benefit our joint forces," said Zachary J. Lemnios, the assistant secretary of defense for research and engineering.
"We are also employing new processes to share research results with our industry partners at a much earlier point to accelerate the transition of concepts from research to end-use products."
The MURI program is separate but complementary to Department of Defense research programs supporting traditional, single-investigator university research.
Names of institutions expected to receive the funding haven't been released. The awards are subject to availability of appropriations and satisfactory research progress.
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