Largest grant in UMass Dartmouth history will fund undersea research

SE Mass

DARTMOUTH, Mass. (WPRI) ─ The U.S. Navy has provided UMass Dartmouth with a $4.5 million grant that will fund the university’s Marine and Undersea Technology (MUST) program.

The $4.5 million grant, which is the largest the university has ever received, will benefit the investigation of undersea technology that will be conducted in conjunction with its regional partners, including Newport’s Naval Undersea Warfare Center, according to UMass Dartmouth Chancellor Robert Johnson.

“This is our dream, this is our goal, these are the possibilities of what we are about to embark upon today,” Johnson said.

Through the MUST program, the Navy works collaboratively with UMass Dartmouth on developing a highly trained workforce and new technologies in marine science. Some of those projects, according to the university, are designed to strengthen national security.

“The Two greatest needs of the U.S. Navy are a highly skilled workforce and cutting edge research,” Associate Provost of UMass Dartmouth Ramprasad Balasubramanian said.

Local leaders, including Sens. Ed Markey and Elizabeth Warren and Rep. Joe Kennedy III, commended UMass Dartmouth’s involvement in the “Blue Economy.”

“What we envision with the Blue Economy is creating an ecosystem up and down the 195 corridor ─ this grant will become a catalyst to pull together academia, government and corporate partners to create that system.”

Johnson also expressed gratitude for Rep. Bill Keating, who helped secure the grant.

“When you think about the marine tech science space, our students will be doing research with world-renowned faculty, we’ll be bringing in world-renowned companies,” Johnson said.

Keating said the grant is “a perfect example of how federal grants are supposed to work.”

“With the funding, UMass Dartmouth will not only be providing critical naval research but also creating the highly skilled workforce needed as we move this project – and those like it – forward,” Keating said.

The U.S. Navy has provided UMass Dartmouth with 19 awards since 2015, totaling nearly $5 million prior to receiving the latest grant, the university said.

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