Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) and Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) have formally signed a master research agreement (MRA) that will help foster innovation between the two organizations. The signing also initiated the kickoff of several projects at CMU related to strategic, operational, and tactical emergency operations. Northrop Grumman will be supporting CMU research focused on decision making, robotics, human-machine teaming and autonomy.

“This research agreement will allow us to move faster to initiate research projects across the breadth of the combined experience of Northrop Grumman and CMU,” said Vern Boyle, vice president, advanced technologies, Northrop Grumman.

The research agreement will accelerate Northrop Grumman’s ability to sponsor research projects with CMU. Five of those projects are aligned to CMU’s support of the Joint Artificial Intelligence Center’s National Mission Initiative priority areas with an initial focus on humanitarian aid and disaster relief.

“The projects are about getting the right information to the right person at the right time,” said Karen Metzler, strategic director, Northrop Grumman. “Human-machine teamed first responders can optimize their decision-making and information flow across dynamic environments through a variety of platforms.”

Northrop Grumman has been funding university research at CMU since September 2010, when CMU joined as an inaugural member of the Northrop Grumman Cybersecurity Research Consortium (NGCRC). As part of the NGCRC, CMU has been conducting leading edge research for over 25 Northrop Grumman sponsored projects in critical cybersecurity domains including network and data security, Internet-of-Things (IoT), wireless and cellular communications security, visualization of system anomalies, software security, blockchain, artificial intelligence and machine learning security and other important areas.

“Having companies like Northrop Grumman sponsor research at CMU is an important component of how industry and universities partner to support the nation’s vibrant innovation ecosystem,” said J. Michael McQuade, CMU’s vice president for research. “Working together, we can accelerate the transformation of knowledge learned through basic research into applied commercial products.”

Northrop Grumman will maintain its partnership with CMU’s CyLab, which is focused on cybersecurity research. Joint Northrop Grumman-CyLab research has led to some of the first practical applications of machine learning to detect network traffic malware in real-time.

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