Army allies with MIT for nanotech

The U.S. Army Research Office announced this week that the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has been selected as the university-affiliated research center for the Institute for Soldier Nanotechnologies (ISN).

In a five-year, $50 million program, the ISN will serve as the Army's center of expertise in the development and application of nanotechnology for soldiers. This includes the creation of uniforms and materials that could help heal soldiers, protect them against bullets and chemical agents or monitor a soldier's life support processes, said A. Michael Andrews II, the Army's deputy assistant secretary for research and technology and its chief scientist.

Nanotechnology is a science that works at the atomic and molecular level to create any type of structure or device with improved molecular organization. It can be used to build anything — not just computers.

Andrews, speaking last month at the Association of the U.S. Army's 2002 Winter Symposium, said the institute would house about 100 graduate students and 40 to 50 professors.

The ISN will partner with industry and Defense Department research organizations to accelerate the transition of its research into products with military and commercial applications, Andrews said. "Establishing the ISN is the first step in our journey to achieve revolutionary materials capabilities for individual soldier protection — for both the Objective Force Warrior and Future Combat Systems," he said in a press release.

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