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Press Release


UNC System Announces Partnership with Defense Alliance of NC

New agreement will work to create long-term investments in the defense sector

CHAPEL HILL, NC The University of North Carolina System today announces a partnership with the newly-formed Defense Alliance of NC. By collaborating and sharing resources, both organizations will strengthen their networks and work together toward common goals.

“Through the Committee on Military and Veteran Affairs, the UNC Board of Governors supports the UNC System’s role in building our state’s innovation ecosystem and growing North Carolina’s defense economy,” said Leo Daughtry, chair of the UNC Board of Governors Committee on Military and Veteran Affairs. “Partnering with the Defense Alliance of NC will enhance the University’s impact on NC and our national security.”

The UNC System performs cutting-edge scientific research and development in areas that directly align with the Department of Defense and the U.S. Army’s top priorities, including cybersecurity, data analytics, artificial intelligence and machine learning, advanced materials and manufacturing, human performance, virtual reality, sensing, autonomy and unmanned systems, and quantum science.

The Department of Defense sponsored nearly $47 million in research across the UNC System during the 2018 fiscal year. The UNC System also offers education and training in these and many other areas important for educating NC future workforce and the next generation of military leaders and national security professionals.

Prime examples of the UNC System’s research and education leadership in defense related areas include:

  • The N.C. Agricultural & Technical State University-UNC Greensboro Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering, which houses state-of-the-art infrastructure and specialized resources for nanoscale material research, synthesis, characterization and testing;
  • Elizabeth City State University’s bachelor of science in Unmanned Aerial Systems, the first such program in the state; and
  • N.C. State University’s large scale research partnerships with IBM, the National Security Agency, and Eastman Corporation in quantum computing, analytic sciences, and advanced materials.

In addition, there are multiple graduate degree and certificate programs in data science and business analytics at Appalachian State University, East Carolina University, UNC Greensboro, Fayetteville State University and N.C. State University.

Collaborations with the Defense Alliance of NC will be supported by the UNC System’s existing research and educational partnership agreements with U.S. Department of Defense entities such as the U.S. Army Research Laboratory (ARL), U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM), and National Security Agency (NSA).

The Defense Alliance of NC was created following the recent merger between the North Carolina Defense Business Association and the North Carolina Military Foundation. Its mission is to grow North Carolina’s defense economy in a way that generates both long term investments and job opportunities.

“The UNC System is one of our state’s strongest assets, and we are thrilled to establish this critical strategic partnership,” said Paul Friday, incoming executive director of the Defense Alliance of North Carolina. “We look forward to working closely with the UNC System Office for many years to come to expand the already impressive portfolio of groundbreaking research and education support being conducted throughout the UNC System to promote the success and well-being of our nation’s warfighters.”