National Science Foundation and U.S. Air Force Announce Partnership in Science and Engineering Research

May 18, 2018

National Science Foundation (NSF) Director France Cordova and United States Air Force (USAF) Secretary Heather Wilson recently signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) to create a new partnership in scientific and engineering research to advance the state of national security. The LOI initiates a strategic partnership focused on research in four areas of common interest: space operations and geosciences, advanced material sciences, information and data sciences, and workforce and processes.

The partnership will allow the basic research funded by the NSF, along with applied research and advanced technology development, to support and hopefully grow the technologies the USAF relies on. The LOI 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 said. “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.”

Initial discussions focused on topics ranging from the convergence of artificial intelligence, data and materials, to placements for fellows from NSF's Graduate Research Intern Program.

To view the LoI, click here: https://www.nsf.gov/news/newsmedia/USAF-NSF_Mutual_Letter_of_Intent.pdf