The U.S. Army Research Laboratory has partnered with Lockheed Martin to explore how microorganisms could help improve military technologies.
The company said Tuesday it signed a five-year, $10M cooperative agreement to support ARL and work with other industry partners on the Army's Self-Assembly of Nanostructures for Tunable Materials program.
“We want to harness nature's process to better protect people," said Melissa Rhoads, senior research manager and Lockheed's lead for the project.
"Biodesign exists today, but it doesn't exist at the scale and to the quality of defense standards," she added.
ARL mainly aims to see how cells could help improve defense optical technologies and coatings for military systems.
Rhoads said. "Harnessing the power of self-assembling materials is sustainable, affordable and can be much faster to produce than artificial methods.
The program will use the Army's Open Campus model for easier collaboration between university, small-business, military and Lockheed scientists and engineers.