General Atomics and Texas A&M University Sign Agreement for Joint Research Efforts


Jul 13, 2009

July 13, 2009, San Diego, Calif., General Atomics (GA) and Texas A&M University recently signed a three-year Master Research Agreement (MRA) to jointly engage in research in the fields of energy, defense and transportation.  This effort will be pursued in collaboration with Texas A&M’s affiliated agencies under the Texas A&M System, including Texas Agrilife Research  and the Texas Engineering Experiment Station (TEES).  This MRA serves to further the instructional and research objectives of Texas A&M while fulfilling GA’s desire to expand its research base and continue the development of innovative technologies that provide significant benefit to the nation.

This MRA marks the latest in a series of agreements between General Atomics and Texas A&M University and Texas AgriLife Research. In 2007, GA and Texas AgriLife Research entered into a successful five-year strategic and collaborative alliance to research, develop and commercialize the production of biodiesel through “farming” microalgae in the State of Texas. Texas AgriLife Research subsequently won a grant from the State of Texas-Emerging Technology Fund that has resulted in the continued collaboration between the parties to advance the state of technology in the growth of microalgae to support alternative fuel options and further reduce the nation’s dependence on foreign oil.

The execution of this MRA expands the parties’ relationship from the narrow focus of biofuels into additional areas of research and further complements each party’s resources and expertise.

Texas A&M is the nation’s sixth-largest university and a world leader in teaching and research, with more than $600 million in externally funded research in science and non-science fields annually. It is one of only a handful of institutions nationwide able to claim status as a Land, Sea and Space Grant institution.

“General Atomics is excited to continue and grow our close relationship with one of the premier universities in the country” said Mr. Mike Reed, Senior Vice President for the General Atomics Advanced Technologies Group. “This agreement with Texas A&M University highlights GA’s continued pursuit of critical defense and energy transformational technologies that can be game-changing in strengthening the nation’s defenses and in significantly reducing our dependence on foreign sources for energy”.

About General Atomics

General Atomics is a San Diego-based company with a 50-year history of providing successful solutions for environmental, energy and defense challenges. GA specializes in performing innovative research and development and transforming conceptual results into practical systems. Affiliated manufacturing companies include General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc., which produces the Predator® family of unmanned aerial vehicles.

About research at Texas A&M University:

As one of the world’s leading research institutions, Texas A&M is in the vanguard in making significant contributions to the storehouse of knowledge, including that of science and technology. Research conducted in science and non-science fields at Texas A&M represents an annual investment of more than $600 million, and ranks third nationally for universities without a medical school, and underwrites approximately 3,500 sponsored projects. That research creates new knowledge that provides basic, fundamental and applied contributions resulting in many cases in economic benefits to the state, nation and world.

Texas AgriLife Research is the only public, statewide agency dedicated to research in the agricultural, environmental, and life sciences. Headquartered in College Station, AgriLife Research employs some 1,700 professionals in 13 research centers across the state and system university campuses. Research conducted spans numerous scientific disciplines and serves to improve the productivity, efficiency, and profitability of agriculture, while maintaining a sustainable environment. Through collaborations and partnerships, AgriLife Research strengthens the state’s position in the global market by meeting modern challenges in Texas, the nation, and worldwide.

For further information contact:

Carl Fisher
Director, Business Development
General Atomics
Advanced Technologies Group

Doug Fouquet
Public Relations
General Atomics

Kathy Koza
Communications Manager, Research
AgriLife Communications

Bob Avant
Program Director
Texas AgriLife Research, Corporate Relations

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