Partnership for Defense Innovation Opens WCU Office

The Partnership for Defense Innovation opened an office at Western Carolina University on Thursday, May 28, as part of a growing collaboration between PDI and WCU on research, development and testing for projects that have applications in the defense and security industries.

PDI is a nonprofit organization created to support research and development, education and programs that have applications in defense and security. The organization maintains an incubator facility for companies engaged in research and development of technologies associated with military and homeland security, and collaborates with educational institutions, the military and intelligence communities, the state of North Carolina and private institutions.

“Working collaboratively with PDI will expose our students and faculty to cutting-edge technologies and research, and give them opportunities to be part of a wide variety of programs important in military defense and security,” said Robert K. McMahan, dean of The Kimmel School at WCU.

PDI has supported initiatives and research projects such as developing technologies that help detect disturbed earth or tunnels, or that enhance the capabilities of protective clothing or vehicle armor.

“The PDI West office at WCU will accommodate face-to-face interchanges and collaboration among PDI staff with faculty and staff of The Kimmel School as well as other colleges in WCU, with the objective of identifying and pursuing joint research, development and testing projects,” said Patrick Gardner, technical director and principal scientist in The Kimmel School. “We look forward to a long-term partnership with PDI.”

The controlled access office, which will be located the Belk Building, is equipped with a desk, bookshelves and wireless broadband access.

“Opening an office at WCU provides our program expansion across the state,” said Scott Perry, president of PDI. “This collaboration increases the capability of both organizations and allows for scientific research, promotes education, technology development and stimulates statewide economic development.”

For more information, contact Gardner at (828) 227-2162.