The Defense Department has selected 23 multidisciplinary research projects to receive up to $163 million over five years as part of a grant program designed for U.S. universities.
DoD said Friday the Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative for fiscal 2017 will involve 55 academic institutions and complement other DoD efforts that support traditional, single-investigator university research grants.
The department awarded $162 million in MURI grants to 23 research projects during fiscal 2016.
Dale Ormond, principal director for research at DoD’s Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering, said MURI supports investigator teams that include more than one traditional science and engineering discipline in an effort to accelerate research progress.
Ormond added the program also helps educate and train graduate students in research.
The Army Research Office, Air Force Office of Scientific Research and Office of Naval Research solicited proposals in 23 topic areas and received 315 white papers.
A panel of DoD officials selected the final awardees after two rounds of merit-based reviews.
MURI has supported research projects related to artificial intelligence, compressive sensing, automated scene recognition, optoelectronics, mid-infrared imaging technology and direct brain-computer communication over the past three decades.