US Army expanding research hub

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BURLINGTON — The U.S. Army plans to increase its research presence in Massachusetts after choosing to partner with Northeastern University as part of nationwide effort to work with academic institutions to advance soldier and battlefield technology capabilities.

Military, political and academic leaders gathered in Burlington on Monday morning to celebrate the U.S. Army Research Laboratory's (ARL) selection of Northeastern's George J. Kostas Research Institute as the regional hub for the ARL's research expansion.

U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey, Gov. Charlie Baker and U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton were all on hand to tout the partnership that will they said will keep Massachusetts at the forefront of the research and innovation needed to keep the country protected.

"If you take a look at the arc of all the work that's been done, which has been spoken about already, on the next generation of supporting more fighters and our military and our national security, nobody plays out of their weight class the way Massachusetts does," Baker said.

The ARL, which is headquartered in Maryland, has already expanded with campus partnerships at the University of Chicago, the University of Texas in Austin and the University of Southern California. The partnership with Northeastern at its Burlington research campus is the fourth and final regional expansion.

"We must keep technology and the pipeline for technology full," said Major General Cedric Wins, commanding general of the Army Research, Development and Engineering command.

Research done at the site in collaboration between the Army, Northeastern and other academic centers in the region, and corporate partners could expand upon work already done in Burlington in areas such as cybersecurity, advanced materials for soldiers in the field and modern mobile command posts, according to speakers at the event.

"We are here on America's technology highway, and Burlington is the belt buckle of that highway," Markey said.

Warren said she and the rest of the Massachusetts delegation will remain focused on securing on the financial support from the federal government needed to carry out important research.

"You can't do this work if you don't have the resources, and I just want to say our team is committed to getting the resources," Warren said.

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