National Center for the Study of Counter-Terrorism & Cyber-Crime Secures $4.5 Million Federal Contract

Funds to support US Military research and development

The National Center for the Study of Counter-Terrorism & Cyber-Crime at Norwich University recently received a two-year federal contract to conduct research and technology development for the US military. Specifically, the contract calls for research in the areas of nanotechnologies, unexploded ordinance detection and computer network systems.

The contract is the result of the efforts of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), who placed the additional funds in the 2003 Department of Defense budget. Senator Leahy was also instrumental in the creation and location of the National Center at Norwich University.

The research being contracted through the National Center at Norwich represents an important step toward furthering a key objective of the Center, that being to serve as an economic engine for the Vermont economy. The Center has created six new positions since its inception in October 2002. It has plans to bring on board additional professionals in order to manage the additional workload from the military contract.

For the majority of the nanotechnology work to be performed in order to complete the military contract, the Center will be sub-contracting with Diffraction, LTD of Waitsfield, Vt., which specializes in optical systems and micro- and nano-fabrication, including design, engineering and production of microsystems; high energy laser optics; diffractive optical elements; and process engineering for electro-optic applications. To complete its portion of the contract, Diffraction will also be hiring additional researchers.

"Computers and technology have quickly become vital tools on the front lines in the war against terrorism," said Leahy. "Norwich has been ramping up to help meet this challenge, and I'm pleased to have been able to secure the charter and the funding for Norwich's new National Center for Counter-Terrorism and Cyber-Crime, which is building on the university's extensive knowledge of the military and information systems. Tapping the expertise at Norwich and of contractors like Diffraction Limited will help keep our elite forces on the cutting edge."

"This contract offers a significant opportunity for Diffraction LTD to grow while working on challenging new technologies; we will be utilizing and improving our nanotechnology capabilities in its performance" said Bill Parker, Chief Executive Officer and Director of Research at Diffraction LTD.

"This contract award is the beginning of a win-win situation for our soldiers and the talented Vermont professionals performing this important research that will ultimately improve our soldiers' ability to perform under the most severe conditions," said Tom Aldrich, President of the National Center for the Study of Counter-Terrorism & Cyber-Crime at Norwich University. "We in the National Center will continue to look for talented men and women in Vermont who can bring forth ideas to keep Americans who must go in harms way safe and our nation secure. The wisdom of Senator Leahy and Norwich University's President Schneider bringing these talents together cannot be [overstated]."

"This is great news for all parties involved," said Norwich University President Richard W. Schneider. "As we promised when we opened the National Center last year, it is playing an important role in maintaining a strong economy for Vermont and creating quality, professional-level positions for Vermonters. In addition, the Center allows us to be of service to our nation and our soldiers working to preserve our freedoms across the globe, a service Norwich has performed with loyalty and pride for over 184 years."

aventi@norwich.edu, November 2003

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