Two well-known California institutions of research and innovation – the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) and Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. – are joining forces in a strategic partnership focused on emerging disruptive technologies with potential applications to U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps capability needs.
NPS, whose campus is based in Monterey, recently signed a Limited Purpose Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (LP-CRADA) with San Diego-based Qualcomm Technologies. This agreement combines the capabilities and the talent of the two organizations into a united problem-solving enterprise.
Under the LP-CRADA, NPS faculty and students will not only conduct research into 5G wireless communications, artificial intelligence, hardware development platforms, and associated technologies, but they will also develop the concepts of employment needed for military applications and operations.
“The DON is creating a culture that nurtures innovation and drives our competitive advantage,” said Aaron Weis, the Department of the Navy’s Chief Information Officer (DON CIO). “This partnership between NPS and Qualcomm Technologies is another step in the right direction. The CRADA will identify promising emerging commercial technologies so we can rapidly adopt them for full-scale implementation.”
Qualcomm Technologies is the latest industry member that has offered to partner with NPS through the use of a CRADA. Full CRADAs allow the U.S. government to engage in cooperative research efforts with non-federal entities. Such joint research, co-discovery, and mutual learning has proved extraordinarily effective, as it enables the Department of the Navy (DON) to gain immediate benefit by introducing cutting-edge technology, commercial insights and industry partners to the core education and research programs at NPS to applications, while industry learns from operationally experienced students whose perspectives inform development of innovative solutions to warfighting problems.
As part of the LP-CRADA, Qualcomm Technologies will provide software, hardware, and reference design platforms to NPS for experimentation, assessment, and evaluation. NPS students and faculty will work cooperatively with Qualcomm Technologies subject matter experts to understand the capabilities, benefits and limitations of the platforms and technology and to determine potential military applications.
“Over the past several years we have had the privilege of engaging with NPS students, faculty and staff through technical exchanges, presentations and demonstrations,” said Kim Koro, senior vice president, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. “This CRADA is the next step in building an enduring collaboration between our two entities. Through this interaction, the students and faculty will identify DOD challenges and examine where the application of commercial advancements in technology can provide mission benefits. We will do this by enabling students and faculty with cutting-edge capabilities along with access to the knowledge base for their implementation.”
NPS researchers – including those working within the innovation lab, at other NPS labs and field experimentation sites, and coordinating with users in the fleet – will have the opportunity to experiment with state-of-the-art Qualcomm® Robotics RB5 platforms and Qualcomm® Robotics RB6 platforms, both of which are equipped with 5G wireless connectivity and artificial intelligence/machine learning capabilities.
NPS will also explore cloud and edge computing technology through utilization of the Qualcomm® Cloud AI 100 hardware platform, which is designed to accelerate AI inference – the process of using a trained neural network model to make a prediction – and make edge computing faster and more efficient.
And NPS will have an opportunity to evaluate the Snapdragon® 8 mobile platform with a hardware development kit (HDK). Similar to a software development kit (SDK), the HDK allows for customization of the Snapdragon hardware to suit the needs of the end user.
The cooperative effort with Qualcomm Technologies is being supported by NPS’ Naval Warfare Studies Institute (NWSI), which connects innovative industry partners like Qualcomm Technologies to NPS faculty and student researchers with the ultimate purpose of developing ideas into warfighting concepts and capabilities for the Navy, Marine Corps, and Joint Force.
U.S. Marine Corps Col. Randy Pugh, director of NWSI, welcomes the cooperative effort between NPS and Qualcomm Technologies for a number of reasons.
“Qualcomm Technologies is a great LP-CRADA partner for NPS as they bring world-renowned expertise in highly complex technologies of critical importance to the DOD,” Pugh said. “In addition, they are a company that has demonstrated complete mastery of the process of innovation and building a culture of innovation. For both those reasons, Qualcomm Technologies will be a force multiplier as we develop the Naval Innovation Center at NPS.”
Ultimately, the partnership will leverage the latest in commercial expertise and technology, as well as the innovation and expertise of both organizations, to yield potential answers to the questions facing the Navy and Marine Corps.
“The core of warfighter development at NPS is preparing leaders to solve complex problems,” said the president of NPS, retired Vice Adm. Ann E. Rondeau. “Key to this is bringing cutting-edge technologies into the learning and research environment. This cooperative effort between NPS and Qualcomm Technologies is a great opportunity for our warrior-scholar students and defense-expert faculty to experiment with the latest 5G-enabled technologies and explore innovative solutions to the issues faced by our Navy and Marine Corps. We look forward to working with our colleagues at QTI to fully realize the potential of this partnership.”
The Naval Postgraduate School provides defense-focused graduate education, including classified studies and interdisciplinary research, to advance the operational effectiveness, technological leadership and warfighting advantage of the Naval service. For additional information, visit NPS online at http://www.nps.edu.
The Limited Purpose Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (LP-CRADA) does not constitute endorsement of Qualcomm Technologies or its products and services by the Naval Postgraduate School, the Department of the Navy, or the Department of Defense.
Snapdragon and Qualcomm branded products are products of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries. Qualcomm patented technologies are licensed by Qualcomm Incorporated. Qualcomm and Snapdragon are trademarks or registered trademarks of Qualcomm Incorporated.