The Army Research Lab (ARL) is looking to instill new collaboration models with industry that will broaden partnership opportunities for its long-term development priorities, including synthetic biology and quantum computing, an official said Thursday. 

Jaret Riddick, ARL’s lead vehicle technology official, told attendees at a CXO Tech Forum officials will look to utilize the lab’s new regional campuses to get research institutions and industry partnered on developing technology for its Essential Research Area Projects.

Dr. Jaret Ridick, director of Army Research Lab’s vehicle technology directorate

“We’re thinking about new models for collaboration that are not so transactional,” Riddick said during a panel.

Riddick said ARL is working towards supporting technology development for the Army’s modernization priorities and current 2028 vision, while also laying the groundwork for Essential Research Area projects that may not come to fruition until the 2030’s.

“When we’re thinking about basic research investment, I’m looking over the horizon. We sometimes like to say I’m working on technology that will benefit soldiers that in some cases haven’t been born yet. 2035 and beyond,” Riddick said.

Long-term technology areas for ARL include synthetic biology, quantum computing, artificial intelligence, robotics and advanced capabilities for unmanned aerial vehicles, according to Riddick.

Riddick said ARL’s approach with industry will be focused around their new regional campuses to bring in partners earlier in the process in a manner that is less formalized than previous collaborations.

“One thing we’re going to do through that model is engage industry aggressively in their local region,” Riddick said. “Then good pieces of technology that crop up, I can transition those quickly into an industry ecosystem where they can be matured and produce a product that can make it into the hands of a soldier.”