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05 Mar 07. $41.2m Awarded to Universities for Research Equipment. The Department of Defense today announced plans to award $41.2m to academic institutions to support the purchase of research instrumentation cunder the Defense University Research Instrumentation Program (DURIP).All awards are subject to the successful completion of negotiations between DoD research offices and the academic institutions. The 199 awards to 112academic institutions are expected to range from about $50,000 to $950,000 and average $207,000. DURIP supports the purchase of state-of-the-art equipment that augments current university capabilities or develops new university capabilities to perform cutting-edge defense research. DURIP meets a critical need by enabling university researchers to purchase scientific equipment costing $50,000 or more to conduct DoD-relevant research. Researchers generally have difficulty purchasing instruments costing that much under research contracts and grants. These awards are the result of a merit competition for DURIP funding conducted by the Army Research Office, Office of Naval Research and Air Force Office of Scientific Research. Each office requested proposals from university investigators working in areas of importance to DoD. This includes research related to information technology, remote sensing, propulsion, electronics and electro-optics, advanced materials, and ocean science and engineering. In response to the requests, the research offices collectively received 780 proposals, requesting $220million in support for research equipment.

01 Mar 07. Defence Minister Lord Drayson responded to a Defence Select
Committee report on the future of Defence research and the work of
the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl). Lord Drayson said: “The Committee’s report quite rightly highlights that the UK’s defence research is amongst the best in the world and makes a significant contribution to the UK’s Armed Forces’ operations overseas. “It is vital that we maintain this position. To that end we published the Defence Technology Strategy last year to allow industry to target their efforts against MOD’s priorities. We are also working to ensure that defence research is properly resourced. Clearly the Government has an important role to play, but investment must also come from industry and I look forward to the outcome of the NDIC’s work on how to encourage this. “Quite rightly, UK operations in Iraq and Afghanistan impact on defence research, as they lead to a focus on areas which can benefit UK forces today on operations. However the additional costs of operations, including the costs of research in support of Urgent Operational Requirements, are funded from The Treasury’s Reserve, so they do not impact on the funds available for long term research.”

02 Mar 07. Mine-protected duo set for quantity production. Two new mine protected vehicles (MPVs), Marauder and Matador, will enter quantity production soon at the facilities of Middle East Defense Systems (MDS) near Amman, Jordan. It is understood that the first production vehicles will be completed in the second half of this year for an undisclosed customer (Source: Jane’s Defence Weekly)

05 Mar 07. A test recently used by the UK government’s Independent Depleted Uranium Oversight Board to detect exposure to UK troops by depleted uranium (DU) during the 1991 Gulf Conflict was developed by a team led by a University of Leicester geologist. Randall Parrish, Professor of Isotope Geology, developed the test with Postdoctoral Fellow Dr Axel Gerdes, who now works at the University of Frankfurt, Germany, and his colleague Matt Horstwood at the British Geological Survey, using advanced mass spectrometry. Prof Parrish’s team has tested more than 350 individuals as part of the programme, with the result that none so far tested had any demonstrable DU exposure resulting from their part

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