5. Army Efforts with Industry
a. National Automotive Center (NAC)
Recognizing the many dual use benefits to be exchanged among industry, academia, and government, the Army established the National Automotive Center in 1993. The NAC is located at the U.S. Army Tank-Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center, Warren, Michigan, and serves to accelerate the development of dual use automotive technologies. Through the use of Broad Agency Announcements (BAAs), the NAC leverages commercial R&D projects which have potential military applications. In conjunction with the Department of the Army Domestic Technology Transfer Office, the NAC has developed a blanket Cooperative R&D Agreement (CRDA) between the Army and the major American car manufacturers--General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler. The NAC also interfaces with the United States Council for Automotive Research (USCAR) and automotive vendors, suppliers, and small businesses to identify areas of potential collaboration with the automotive industry. It also coordinates with other government agencies such as the Advanced Research Projects Agency and the Departments of Energy, Transportation, and Commerce, and is developing agreements with them for coordination of mutual automotive technology projects.
b. National Rotorcraft Technology Center (NRTC)
The NRTC, established in 1996, is a catalyst for facilitating collaborative rotorcraft research and development between the DoD (Army and Navy), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), industry, and academia. It will serve as the means to cooperatively develop and implement a rotorcraft technology plan and national strategy that can effectively address both civil and military rotorcraft needs. The effort will establish an aggressive and clearly focused approach to ensure continued superiority of U.S. military rotorcraft while concurrently strengthening the U.S. rotorcraft industry's ability to compete in the global market. The NRTC adds an innovative approach to include U.S. industry and academia as partners through their focal point, the Rotorcraft Industry Technology Association (RITA), a non-profit corporation formed for this purpose. This partnership will focus on developing rotorcraft design, engineering and manufacturing technologies and sharing technology among RITA members. U.S. industry will have a proactive role in defining the technology tasks to be undertaken. Initial strategic thrusts of the NRTC will address the following five critical path civil/military rotorcraft issues: (a) critical dual-use technologies, (b) passenger and community acceptance, (c) product and process development, (d) aviation infrastructure, and (e) civil and military standards. Research project costs will be shared by government funding matched or exceeded by industry's participation. The government office of the NRTC is located in existing facilities at NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California.