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Schumer, Clinton Announce Senate Approval Of $16.75 Million In Defense Funding For The Greater Rochester Region

Funds Included in Department of Defense Appropriations Bill

Washington, DC – Senators Charles Schumer and Hillary Rodham Clinton today announced that the Senate has approved the Fiscal Year 2008 Department of Defense Appropriations bill conference report which includes $16.75 million in defense funding for the Greater Rochester Region.


The bill, having been approved by both chambers of Congress, will now be sent to the President for his signature.


“This is terrific news for the greater Rochester region and a vital step in the appropriations process,” said Senator Schumer. “These critical funds will help us ensure that in defending our nation, we are equipped with the most cutting-edge technology and know-how. All of the institutions awarded here are doing research and work that will boost both our national defense and the Rochester region’s economy. I will urge the president to sign this bill immediately.”


“This is welcome news for these local companies, and for the Greater Rochester region. As they continue to build their capacity in support of our men and women in uniform, so too they build the reputation of the region and their own role in support of the local economy. The funds approved by the Senate are an important investment in the Greater Rochester region for many reasons – not only are we supporting our troops serving overseas and at home, but we are also investing in local technology, local jobs, and the region’s reputation for cutting edge research and development,” Senator Clinton said.


The $16.75 million for Rochester in the Fiscal Year 2008 Department of Defense Appropriations bill includes:


Delphi – Accelerating Fuel Cells Manufacturability - $2.75 Million


Funding will help to accelerate the application of fuel cells for a wide range of DoD electrical power needs, including (but not limited to) ships and submarines, soldier power, ground vehicles, mobile electric power for bases and other field equipment, and aircraft.  In particular, this project will enable the DoD to advance fuel cell manufacturing feasibility and readiness for field testing.


Infotonics Research Center – Infotonics Research - $2.4 Million


The National Center for Infotonics is a collaboration between New York State research universities and the photonics industry to accelerate research and technology commercialization and transfer and industry development in photonics and micro-systems.  Dozens of companies involved in photonics and micro-systems are working with a number of research universities in New York State to develop a comprehensive approach to solving problems facing the photonics and micro-systems industries and make them more competitive internationally.  Photonics and micro-systems will be the key components in many future technologies and weapons systems.  Funding will support research into photonics and micro-systems applications for defense applications, including Measurement and Control Systems, Information and Communications Systems and Power Technologies.  Technologies developed at the National Center for Infotonics will also have chem-bio detection and health monitoring applications. 


General Motors – Next Generation Non-Tactical Vehicle Propulsion - $1.6 Million


For FY 08, the initiative proposes to demonstrate a commercially-based front wheel drive SUV-style hydrogen fuel cell vehicle with significantly improved capabilities and performance as compared with earlier vehicles. The lessons learned in this ongoing initiative will bring hydrogen fuel cell vehicles an important step closer to deployment in U.S. Army non-tactical fleets.


General Motors – Future Fuel Non-Tactical Vehicle Initiative - $1.6 Million


In FY05 and FY06, successful 6 month long demonstrations of a hydrogen fuel cell pick-up truck and SUV were completed operating at the USMC installation at Camp Pendleton, CA.  It is proposed that the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) build upon the aforementioned short-term demonstrations with an expanded demonstration of (3) Chevrolet Equinox fuel cell vehicles at the USMC installation at Camp Pendleton and an extended vehicle range refueling capability enhancement of the U.S. Navy installed hydrogen refueling site at Camp Pendleton.


RIT – Defense Modernization and Sustainment Initiative - $2 Million


Funding will be used to improve the modernization, readiness and sustainment of defense systems by developing processes and tools to track the status and future health of defense systems; detect, diagnose and repair material aging failures; and provide decision support systems for use in determining when and how to upgrade these systems.  The Department of Defense, while developing new systems that will enable advances in military capability, must simultaneously maintain and improve the capabilities of existing systems.  The number and complexity of legacy systems, as well as the replacement costs, demand that attention and resources continue to be effectively allocated to current systems.  This research program provides DoD with a comprehensive approach to address these issues based on life-cycle engineering principles.  Over the past several years, these programs have already yielded significant cost savings for the manufacture and upgrade of several platforms and systems, as well as significantly extending the life of existing systems.  For example, one project (out of several that are ongoing as part of this research program) to improve the maintenance and extend the life of the military’s fleet of Light Armored Vehicles (LAVs) is projected to reduce maintenance costs by $2.1 million per year, and $42 million over the life cycle of the platform. 


Integrated Nano-Technologies – Hand-held Nanotechnology Enabled Bio-warfare Agent Identification System - $2.4 Million


This project will enable rapid prototyping of a lightweight, palm sized device for rapid identification of biological warfare agents by military operators and first responders during Counter-Proliferation, Combating WMD and Consequence Management Operations on the battlefield and in the homeland.  The device, weighing approximately one pound, will employ a “laboratory on a chip” capability to provide accurate results in the field with laboratory sensitivity.


Impact Technologies – Integrated Vehicle Health Monitoring System for UAVs - $4 Million


This project will develop and implement an Integrated Vehicle Health Monitoring (IVHM) system to be applied to the Army’s unmanned air or land vehicles.  The technologies will be focused on critical system fault detection and prediction capability for enabling the Condition Based Maintenance Plus (CBM+) DoD Initiative, utilizing advanced fault signature analysis and component isolation reasoning software.  Funding will help to deliver a product that is capable of detecting and predicting common control sensor/actuator failures, engine faults, and related vehicle degradation scenarios.


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