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    October 2009

    Technology and Innovation Development

    Partnership for Defense Innovation Establishes Office on WCU campus

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    The Partnership for Defense Innovation (PDI) established an office at the Kimmel School of Western Carolina University as part of a growing collaboration between PDI and WCU on research, development and testing for projects that have applications in the defense and security markets. PDI, headquartered in Fayetteville NC, is a nonprofit organization created to support research, development, education and programs that have applications in defense and security. The organization maintains an incubator facility for companies engaged in research and development of technologies associated with military and homeland security, and collaborates with educational institutions, the military and intelligence communities, the state of North Carolina and private institutions.

    WCU, through the Center for Rapid Product Realization in the Kimmel School, engages in a number of sponsored and collaborative projects with the DOD and DHS, as well as companies that develop defense and security products. “Working collaboratively with PDI will expose our students and faculty to cutting-edge technologies and research, and give them opportunities to contribute to a wide array of programs important in military defense and security,” said Robert K. McMahan, dean of The Kimmel School. 

    PDI has supported initiatives and research projects such as developing technologies that help detect disturbed earth or tunnels, or that enhance the capabilities of protective clothing or vehicle armor. “The PDI office at WCU will accommodate face-to-face interchanges and collaboration among PDI staff with faculty and staff of The Kimmel School as well as other colleges in WCU, with the objective of identifying and pursuing joint research, development and testing projects,” said Patrick Gardner, technical director and principal scientist in The Kimmel School. “We look forward to this long-term strategic partnership with PDI.”

    “Establishing an office at WCU provides our program expansion across the state,” said Scott Perry, president of PDI. “This collaboration increases the capability of both organizations and allows for scientific research, promotes education, technology development and stimulates statewide economic development.”


    For further information, please contact:

    Patrick Gardner

    Technical Director and Principal Scientist, Center for Rapid Product Realization

    Western Carolina University

    (828) 227-2162