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Ohio Puts $7M Toward National Security Tech Development

The Ohio Federal Research Network has awarded $6.85 million to several businesses and colleges in the state to pursue national security-focused research. The hope is that the work will lead to new jobs and even new companies.

A closeup image of a CNC laser cutting a piece of metal during the parts manufacturing process.
(TNS) — The Ohio Federal Research Network, managed by Beavercreek's Parallax Advanced Research, has awarded $6.85 million to several Ohio businesses and colleges to pursue national security-focused research.

The University of Dayton Research Institute (UDRI), Sinclair Community College, Central State University, and Wright State University, with several local businesses, are among the recipients.

Those receiving funds will work with the Air Force Research Laboratory and the Naval Medical Research Unit-Dayton, as well as the National Air and Space Intelligence Center (NASIC), at Wright Patterson Air Force Base. Some will also work with the NASA Glenn Research Center near Cleveland.

"I was born and raised in Ohio," said Mark Bartman, Parallax's vice president for advanced development and a retired Ohio National Guard major general. "It's really cool for me to see and think about all the really amazing research that's going on in this state."

Funding comes from the Ohio General Assembly to help federal agencies solve problems. The hope is that the work will lead to new jobs and even new companies — and new federal dollars returning to the state.

"We're really trying to make sure we're being good stewards of taxpayers' money," Bartman said.

The Ohio Federal Research Network has distributed more than $51.4 million across five funding rounds, leading to 35 projects involving 21 colleges and universities and 97 businesses in Ohio.

In all, these projects have garnered $361 million in funding, including $35.8 million in industry-sponsored research, $321 million in federal funding, and $6.1 million from other sources.

Parallax said the funding has had a significant impact, generating 359 jobs, retaining 96 jobs, and "indirectly" creating over 1,167 jobs.

For this sixth funding round, network representatives sat down with federal partners, including NASA Glenn, AFRL, NASIC and Navy medical researchers at Wright-Patterson

"The initial question was somewhat simple," Bartman said. "It was, 'OK, what are your top priorities for research and development?'"

Areas of research include hypersonics, human performance, high-power energy conversion, digital engineering tools, commercial space in low-earth orbit, and quantum sensing technologies.

Some of the most recent awardees and their projects include:
  • Beavercreek's ARCTOS Technology Solutions, with Ohio University, the University of Toledo, GoHypersonic, and Hyphen Innovations, will work on alloy parts for hypersonic vehicles.
  • Beavercreek's CFD Research Corp., with the Air Force Institute of Technology and Wright State, will work on digital tools for the engineering of hypersonic vehicles.
  • Dayton's Kairos Research with Wright State, Sinclair, and the Dayton Entrepreneurs' Center, will work on a software dashboard for displaying real-time ocular-physiological indicators for cognitive states, including fatigue and drowsiness.
  • Ohio State University, with UD, Central State University, Agile Ultrasonics LLC, Lincoln Electric, and Nanoracks, will focus on developing autonomous metals and polymer welding for space applications.

These are all 18-month projects, Parallax said.

Solicitations for new projects go out to previous funding recipients, but also to "as many people who are in our contact list," Bartman said. They're also advertised on the LinkedIn website.

A requirement for participants: Industry partners must have an Ohio presence and must work with at least two Ohio university or higher education partners.

Bartman said other states have approached the network to ask how they can assemble an organization similar to the Ohio Federal Research Network, Bartman said.

"I personally don't know of any other state that has a program that's exactly like this," he said.

©2023 the Dayton Daily News, Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.