September 22, 2003
UCSC launches bold new collaboration with NASA
By Tim Stephens
UCSC will manage a national research program valued at more than $330
million under an agreement between UC and NASA announced last week.
letter to Chancellor Greenwood and UC Santa Cruz team from U.S.
Congresswoman Anna G. Eshoo
|William Berry, deputy director
of UCSC's Silicon Valley Center, will serve as managing director
of the University Affiliated Research Center (UARC).
The 10-year contract, a first-of-its-kind for NASA, will establish
a University Affiliated Research Center (UARC) at the NASA Ames Research
A ceremony to celebrate the landmark agreement is scheduled for today
at the Ames Research Center.
"This collaboration brings together ideal partners for innovation,"
said Chancellor M.R.C. Greenwood.
"This is a singular opportunity to advance important and potentially
world-changing research. Our campus's keen interest in this project
is supported by recognized research achievements and previous success
in multidisciplinary and collaborative projects, such as the national
Center for Adaptive Optics.
"The distinguished team of UC participants and our partners at
San Jose State and Foothill and De Anza Community College District are
eager to commence work with our NASA colleagues," Greenwood said.
NASA officials said the UARC will provide a unique combination of research
and educational capabilities to meet NASA's mission requirements and
to develop future human resources in technology and science.
"The UARC moves NASA and university collaborations in a whole
new direction," said G. Scott Hubbard, director of the Ames Research
"Typically, universities focus on fundamental research. With the
new UARC, we are breaking down traditional institutional barriers to
collaborate on mission-driven research that is on NASA's critical path,"
The new UARC will provide the Ames Research Center, located at Moffett
Field in the heart of Silicon Valley, with additional research capabilities
to fulfill NASA's mission requirements. The UARC's educational mission
will enable students and university researchers to work side by side
with Ames researchers on mission-critical problems to benefit the agency
and the nation. Overall, the UARC will provide long-term continuity
of top-tier research talent focused on NASA's growing multidisciplinary
The initial focus of UARC research activities is likely to be in the
areas of information technology and computer science, nanotechnology,
and aerospace operations. Additional areas of interest include astrobiology,
biotechnology, and fundamental space biology.
"There is a natural alignment between the research areas NASA
has indicated it will want to pursue through the UARC and the research
activities of UCSC science and engineering faculty," said UCSC
vice chancellor for research Robert Miller.
William Berry, deputy director of UCSC's Silicon Valley Center, will
serve as managing director of the UARC. Berry noted that the UARC will
be able to tap the expertise of researchers throughout the UC system
to accomplish NASA's research goals. For practical reasons, however,
the UCSC campus is expected to play a central role in providing research
capabilities for the UARC, he said.
"The UARC will provide exciting opportunities for UC faculty and
students to become involved in the NASA research program. NASA is changing
the way it does research by reaching beyond its boundaries, just as
UCSC is reaching out into Silicon Valley, and this is creating an environment
for great things to happen," Berry said.
The close collaboration with an established university system will
enable the UARC to offer career opportunities to attract and retain
the best researchers. The UARC contract will substantially expand university
participation from fundamental research under grants and cooperative
agreements to mission-driven research under task order contracts. San
Jose State University is a subcontractor to UCSC supporting the UARC.
The total estimated cost-plus-award fee for the base period is $119
million; the total estimated cost-plus award fee for Option Period One
is $82 million; the total estimated cost-plus-award fee for Option Period
Two is $132 million.
The period of performance is 10 years, consisting of a five-year base
period followed by two-year and three-year options. The university will
begin its phase-in operations this month, with full contract responsibility
starting in December 2003 and continuing through August 31, 2013.
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