The United States Air Force has announced that it will establish a university-affiliated research center on the campus of a historically Black university. The Department of Defense currently maintains 14 university-affiliated research centers affiliated with the Army, Navy, and Missile Defense Agency. This will be the first research affiliated with the Air Force.
The Department of the Air Force will provide $12 million per year for five years to fund the research, which will focus on tactical autonomy. The tactical autonomy center will look at trust, collaboration between platforms, and human-machine teaming.
The Air Force will select the center’s location from one of 11 qualifying schools. The qualifying HBCUs must be R1 or R2 rated as determined by the Carnegie Classification. This means that the university has “very high” or “high” research activity .
The eligible schools include Prairie View A&M University, Southern University and A&M College, University of Maryland Eastern Shore; Tennessee State University; North Carolina A&M University; Morgan State University, Florida A&M University, Clark Atlanta University, Jackson State University, Howard University, and Texas Southern University.
The current plan would make the chosen HBCU the leader of a consortium of other HBCUs studying the topic. The Air Force hopes to begin reviewing proposals by August 15 and to make a decision on which HBCU will lead the research by the end of the year.