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Cal Poly to receive $5 million to fund partnership with Air Force Research Laboratory

Posted at 7:45 PM, Apr 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-26 22:45:00-04

Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and Cal Poly Pomona will each receive $5 million from the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 to fund an Education Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the Air Force Research Laboratory.

“Military-educational partnerships like the one between the Air Force and Cal Poly enhance our national security capabilities and provide Cal Poly students with hands-on learning opportunities that set them up for successful STEM careers when they graduate,” said Rep. Salud Carbajal, 24th District. “The Air Force is looking to develop cutting-edge technology and I have no doubt that Cal Poly’s students and professors can deliver. I look forward to seeing how these funds will be used to make Americans safer and the next generation of leaders more prepared for the jobs of tomorrow.”

The funds will be used to develop key technologies in secured unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV).

Officials at Cal Poly say this will allow engineering students to conduct cutting-edge research on a modified general aviation airplane that will act as an unmanned aerial vehicle.

“As a result of this support, our students will have a unique opportunity to work with the latest UAV technologies,” said Cal Poly President Jeffrey D. Armstrong. “This will enhance Cal Poly’s reputation for innovation while also providing students opportunities to perform relevant, real-world research with industry.”

The agreement and associated funding will also help further the United States defense strategy.

“We’re excited that our elected officials and the Air Force Research Lab recognize and acknowledge the incredible things our students and faculty do,” said Amy S. Fleischer, Dean of the Cal Poly College of Engineering. “While this funding will benefit Cal Poly, the work that is done with the money will ultimately advance society.”

This is the second allocation of federal funding for EPAs between California Polytechnic State Universities and the Air Force Research Laboratory in less than a year. In June of 2020, lawmakers announced $5 million in funding for an agreement to encourage and enhance the Air Force’s strategic capabilities in space operations through next-generation access to space and maneuverability.