The US Department of Defense (DoD) has awarded $163m in research grants to academic institutions to perform multidisciplinary basic research.
The awards have been granted as part of the DoD's Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI) programme.
Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering research principal director Dale Ormond said: “The MURI supports research by funding teams of investigators that include more than one traditional science and engineering discipline in order to accelerate the research progress.
“Most of the programme's efforts involve researchers from multiple academic institutions and academic departments.
“MURI awards also support the education and training of graduate students in new, cutting-edge research.”
The MURI funding will be spent on research in 23 topic areas important to the DoD and the military services.
The awardees were selected through a merit competition jointly conducted by Army Research Office, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, and the Office of Naval Research.
After two rounds of merit-based reviews, a panel of DoD experts narrowed down the 315 proposals received to 89, from which the 23 final awards were selected.
During the past 30 years, the DoD’s MURI programme conducted research in artificial intelligence, compressive sensing and automated scene recognition, ultracold atoms, advanced sensing and navigation, advances in optoelectronics and mid-infrared imaging technology, and direct brain-computer communication.