• Sat. Nov 26th, 2022

Pentagon signs nanotechnology defense agreement with NC A&T, UNC-Greensboro

ByDenise T. Tatum

Nov 24, 2022

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – The US Department of Defense has tapped into two triad universities to develop new nanotechnology to protect soldiers.

The Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering, a collaboration of North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University and the University of North Carolina Greensboro, is working with the US Army Combat Capabilities Development Command (DEVCOM) Soldier Center to launch a new research initiative called ICONS create. Abbreviation for Innovation Collaborative Laboratory for Nanotechnologies to Empower the Future Soldier.

The purpose of ICONS is to establish technologies through integrated science and engineering that protect soldiers. Through ICONS, the faculty of the Joint School and its affiliates, along with their graduate and undergraduate and post-doctoral students, will collaborate with scientists and engineers at DEVCOM’s Soldier Center and share research facilities to develop next-generation technologies.

On November 21st, a grand opening ceremony for ICONS was held at the Joint School in Greensboro.

The Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering (JSNN), a partnership between NC A&T State University and UNC Greensboro, is based at Gateway Research Park in Greensboro.  (Image credit: JSNN)

The Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering (JSNN), a partnership between NC A&T State University and UNC Greensboro, is based at Gateway Research Park in Greensboro. (Image credit: JSNN)

“The importance and positive impact of this collaboration was evident from the great respect and comments from management; the presented innovative projects; and commitment to the mission to protect those who protect us,” said Nancy Johnston, executive director of the North Carolina Biotechnology Center’s Piedmont Triad Office, who attended the opening.

“Having this center located in the Gateway Research Park and supported by the collective expertise of JSNN from NCA&T and UNCG is significant now and in the future.”

The ICONS research team includes 14 faculty members from the Joint School, 15 student grantees from the Joint School ICONS, and 17 researchers from the DEVCOM Soldier Center in Natick, Mass.

The partnership was initiated with a $1.05 million collaborative agreement awarded by the US Department of Defense.

Sixteen research projects are underway, according to the Joint School’s website.

ICONS research focuses on three main areas:

  • Developing new nanoscale sustainable materials that are lighter, safer and stronger and can be incorporated into yarns and woven into fabrics for military clothing, helmets and other applications.
  • Development of sensors to detect various chemical hazards with high sensitivity, selectivity and reusability in extreme environments.
  • Development of technologies to detect and decontaminate biological threats on the battlefield.

The Joint School’s proximity to multiple military bases in North Carolina will allow researchers to engage directly with Soldiers and Veterans to better understand Soldiers’ needs and train students to develop solutions from the user’s perspective .

The Joint School, located on the South Campus of Gateway University Research Park in Greensboro, offers interdisciplinary graduate programs in nanoscience and nanotechnology. His research focuses on Synthetic Biology, Nanomaterials, Computational Nanotechnology, and Environmental Sciences and Sustainability.

The Joint School will be operated from a 105,000-square-foot, $56.3 million facility that includes nanoelectronics and nanobio cleanrooms, nanoengineering and nanoscience labs, and extensive materials analysis equipment.

(C) NC Biotech Center