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Federal research center in Aiken partners with US Navy on technology

Jason Thomas //March 29, 2023//

Federal research center in Aiken partners with US Navy on technology

Jason Thomas //March 29, 2023//

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The Department of Energy – Savannah River has signed a memorandum of agreement with the Naval Information Warfare Center Atlantic to open channels of collaboration that advance technology solutions for each organization. 

Savannah River National Laboratory will act as an agent of the DOE-SR and will directly support the cooperative science and technology interchange with NIWC Atlantic, according to a Savannah River news release.  The cooperative agreement seeks to develop dual-use training, testing and experimentation to enhance each organization’s research and development efforts — from electromagnetic warfare and spectrum operations to cybersecurity and autonomous systems.

“For us, this partnership is to accelerate solutions to the warfighter,” said Capt. Nicole Nigro, NIWC Atlantic commanding officer, in the release. “This agreement can help us each learn, ask questions and ultimately develop solutions that are jointly evaluated in relevant environments and respective of our missions.”

“SRNL is outstanding in its ability to deploy leading-edge technologies and engineering solutions and we are excited to be directly involved with NIWC Atlantic and learn how we can best support our warfighters,” said SRNL Laboratory Director Vahid Majidi in the release. “Partnership with NIWC Atlantic will create advanced solutions for some of the most complex problems in the national security landscape, which benefits our nation and the whole of government.”

One major driver of the signing was NIWC Atlantic’s Palmetto Tech Bridge, whose director believes in the urgency of the Department of Navy’s stated goal of achieving a competitive advantage over America’s pacing threats, the release stated.

“I believe this will be a new model of intergovernmental cooperation and technical collaboration,” said Erik Gardner, PTB director, in the release. “We each have a lot to offer. We are each on a mission to provide world-class S&T solutions to our customers. One way for us to increase the pace of those solutions is to join forces with exceptional organizations like the DOE’s SRNL that share a common technical focus in the same critical technology space as NIWC Atlantic.”

The PTB exists to connect, reinforce and sustain “acceleration ecosystems,” partnering with academia, nontraditional small businesses, government labs and others to share information, support collaboration spaces and generate dual-use solutions that both meet national defense needs and enhance the region’s economy, according to the release.

SRNL, which is located near Aiken, and not far from NIWC Atlantic headquarters in Charleston, applies state-of-the-art science to provide practical, high-value, cost-effective solutions to complex technical problems, such as the detection of weapons of mass destruction, the development of hydrogen as an energy source and the need for a viable national defense, the release stated.

“In today’s environment, with the fierce competition for information superiority, NIWC Atlantic is constantly looking for ways to rapidly deliver the kind of competitive advantages that will deter armed conflict,” said Peter C. Reddy, NIWC Atlantic executive director, in the release. “Our partnership with SRNL, an innovative organization with a world-class reputation, can help accelerate those technical solutions that give our men and women in uniform the competitive and tactical edge.”