TMCNet:  Dorgan Secures Investments for Defense-Related Projects in North Dakota

[September 18, 2010]

Dorgan Secures Investments for Defense-Related Projects in North Dakota

(Targeted News Service Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) WASHINGTON, Sept. 17 -- The office of Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., issued the following news release: A number of high-tech military initiatives in North Dakota receiving federal support next year will increase economic development activities in the Red River Valley Research Corridor and across the state, U.S. Senator Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) announced Friday.

Dorgan, a member of the Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, secured $75 million for the projects as part of the Senate Fiscal Year 2011 Defense Appropriations bill.

"These are important projects that will strengthen our nation's armed forces and North Dakota's economy," Dorgan said. "These projects are more evidence that North Dakota's growing research facilities are well-established and world-class. This is a real vote of confidence for the work North Dakota researchers are doing." The bill includes $8 million for Accelergy to develop an Advanced Tactical Fuels Biomass Refinery in Bismarck-Mandan, $6 million for NovaDigm Therapeutics vaccine development in Grand Forks, and $5 million for the University of North Dakota's (UND) Center for Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Research, Education and Training to examine unmanned aircraft airspace issues.

In Fargo, North Dakota State University (NDSU) will receive $6.5 million to design radio frequency sensors and transponders made of flexible materials, $5 million to develop antimicrobial coatings with Trition Systems, and $5 million for Mid-American Aviation to develop a state-of-the-art part refurbishment capability for military vehicles and helicopters.

The bill will next go to the full Senate for approval. The final version will be worked out with the U.S. House of Representatives before being sent to the president to be signed into law.

A complete list of North Dakota projects in the bill with descriptions is attached and below.

North Dakota Projects in the Defense Appropriations Bill: Projects in the Fargo area: Electronics and Materials for Flexible Sensors and Transponders $6.5 million This funding will be used by NDSU and its partners to design radio frequency sensors and transponders made of flexible materials. The Department of Defense has expressed a need for new, flexible sensors and transponders that will be more useful in covert and sensitive operations.

Tunable MicroRadio for Military Applications $6 Million Peregrine, partnering with Motorola and NDSU, will be the first to use tunable microradio circuitry jointly developed at NDSU to create a secure 'op-phone' prototype for special force use. This project will focus on the critical integration of cutting-edge radio design with commercial mobile phone technologies.

Bioactive Polymers and Coating Systems for Protection Against Bio-Threats $5 million NDSU's Center for Nanoscale Science and Engineering and its industrial partner, Triton Systems Inc., will develop antimicrobial coatings that can be embedded on fabrics to block toxins, kill bacteria and control biological agents. The fabrics will be used in the manufacture of items such as portable shelters for the military.

Surface Preservation and Enhancement Repair Facility $5 million Mid-America Aviation in West Fargo will utilize cutting-edge cold spray technology for the repair of military vehicle components and system structures. This commercializes technology developed by the University of North Dakota and Alion Science and Technology with funds previously provided by the committee.

Microcantilever Microsensors for Protection of the Warfighter $4 million Funding will be used for NDSU and Triton Systems Inc. to continue developing microsensors capable of detecting chemical and biological agents as well as explosive.

Rapid DNA Identification System $2 million NDSU and its partner IntergenX will complete development of a ruggedized "briefcase lab" that will make it possible for non-specialist troops to perform DNA testing and identification in the field, which is a high priority for counterterrorism operations. Deployed forces will be able to get "DNA fingerprints" from objects handled by terrorists and from suspects in less than two hours, a process that now takes as long as two weeks since samples need to be shipped to labs in the U.S.

Anti-fouling and Fouling-release Coating Systems $3 million NDSU and its partner PPG will commercialize an environmentally-friendly anti-fouling and fouling release coating system that will improve the performance and fuel efficiency of Navy and Coast Guard vessels.

Dynamic Data Flow Management System $2 million Funding will be used by Pedigree Technologies to develop software to manage large volumes of network data to prevent the overloading of tactical communications systems during battle.

Projects in Grand Forks area: Staph Vaccine $6 million NovaDigm Therapeutics in Grand Forks will continue developing vaccines to prevent Staph infections, which present a serious threat to military personnel. Wounded soldiers are more likely to die from infection than from any other cause.

UND's Center for Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Research, Education and Training $5 million UAS Center will use this funding to determine solutions to help with integration of unmanned aircraft in our national airspace system.

Silicon Nanomaterial for Battlefield Medical Devices $5 million UND and Nanosys will develop next-generation combat field dressings, which have new anti- microbial properties to ensure battlefield wounds are clean and prevent infection.

Institute for Advanced Energy Studies $4 million These funds will enable UND to establish an Institute for Advanced Energy Studies that will leverage North Dakota's position as a leading energy-producing state by developing innovative technological solutions to promote the use of clean, reliable, affordable and efficient energy technologies. Senator Dorgan has also previously secured $2.75 million for this project in Fiscal Year 2011 Energy and Water Development Appropriations legislation.

Advanced Antenna Technology for Wireless Communications $3 million UND and Laserlith Corp. will continue to design, test and demonstrate new communications technology that will be used in unmanned aircraft systems. These newly designed antennas will improve performance, cost and size.

ROTC Helicopter Training $1.5 million The UND will provide helicopter training to U.S. Army ROTC cadets and to West Point cadets.

Project in Bismarck-Mandan area: Advanced Tactical Fuels Biomass Refinery $8 million Funds will be used for Accelergy to build a demonstration-sized biofuel production plant that will process biomass feed stocks into high-performance jet and diesel fuel. This commercializes synthetic fuel technology developed by the UND Energy and Environmental Research Center, which is the first 100 percent renewable jet fuel which meets all U.S. Air Force fuel criteria.

Project on the Standing Rock Reservation: Parts-on-Demand for CONUS Operations $4 million Rock Industries in Fort Yates is developing a precision manufacturing facility to provide specially fabricated parts to U.S. Army units. The facility will ensure Army units can get replacement parts as quickly and cheaply as possible - particularly parts that are in short supply or no longer manufactured.

Project on the Fort Berthold Reservation: Air Force Document Modernization $3 million MHA Systems Inc. in Parshall will reformat U.S. Air Force technical documents so they can be accessed and manipulated electronically.

Project on the Turtle Mountain Reservation: Navy Documentation Modernization $2 million Chippewa Tribal Industries in Belcourt will reformat U.S. Navy technical documents so they can be accessed and manipulated electronically.

TNS 23SQ-JF78- 100918-3009765 StaffFurigay (c) 2010 Targeted News Service

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