Texas A&M University System Board of Regents unanimously approved $130 million in funding for an Army Futures Command complex at the system’s 2,000-acre RELLIS Campus in Bryan.
The RELLIS Campus was named for the university’s core values of respect, excellence, leadership, loyalty, integrity and selfless service.
Regents authorized the funding on August 8 as part of a $2.9 billion System Capital Plan for fiscal years 2020-2024.
Before their vote, Dr. Katherine Banks, vice-chancellor of engineering and national laboratories, told board members the collaboration between Texas A&M and the Army Futures Command would establish a full complement of facilities, equipment, and instruction.
The Innovative Technologies Development Complex (ITDC) will house an $80 million Research Innovation Center at the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station (TEES) at RELLIS.
This project will construct a state-of-the-art 79,500 square-foot building to anchor the much broader footprint, which collectively will converge and accelerate specific modernization priorities of TEES clients. This center will be a multifaceted-use facility and will include:
- Offices, conference, and collaboration spaces for university, industry, and other subject matter experts to assess defined needs and create novel concepts;
- Applied research and development laboratories for designing technologically superior elements required to meet established concepts for each need;
- Prototyping and integration spaces for transitioning concepts into a high-performing capability by extensive prototyping;
- Innovation collaboration locations for testing and evaluating advanced-concept prototypes and technology demonstrations;
- Secure meeting spaces, sensitive equipment and data storage for reviewing field experimentation and refining the prototypes and/or new concepts.
The project also will feature a $50 million Innovation Proving Ground, a 1-kilometer hypersonics tunnel, a Mach 6 testing facility, and laser research space.
Gen. John “Mike” Murray, commanding general for the Army Futures Command, said the partnership would develop, test and evaluate next-generation technologies from the private sector and universities around the country. Research and testing at these facilities will focus on hypersonics and directed energy, next-generation vehicles, communication network systems, and precision navigation and timing.
Construction is scheduled to start in November 2019 with substantial completion in June 2021.
This article originally published by Strategic Partnerships.