Lockheed Martin [LMT] and Rice University yesterday announced the formation of a strategic partnership focused on the development of nanotechnology for applications in electronics, energy and security.

The partnership includes the establishment of the Lockheed Martin Advanced Nanotechnology Center of Excellence (LANCER) at Rice to pair researchers from Lockheed Martin with Rice experts in various technologies such as carbon nanotechnology, photonics, plasmonics and more.

Last month Rice sponsored a discussion session with researchers from Lockheed Martin and the university that led to potential areas of collaboration, including proposals in specific areas that are currently under evaluation by LANCER. Technologies discussed include: nanomaterials that could double the efficiency of Lithium-ion batteries; airport scanners that see through the soles of shoes; solar energy collectors that are twice as efficient as today’s; nanomaterials that can extract energy from waste heat; neuromorphic computers that are structured like mammalian brains; stealthy materials that are stronger and lighter than existing products; and space-based sensors that can closely monitor climate change.

The new center hopes to fund up to six projects annually with priority given to those that can either be brought to market quickly or dramatically improve upon existing technology.

"Nanotechnology promises to impact everything from the clothes people wear to the energy they consume, and it will also revolutionize the systems and services Lockheed Martin delivers to its government customers," Sharon Smith, director of Advanced Technology at Lockheed Martin, said in a statement.

Nanotechnology is the engineering of functional systems at the molecular scale, according to the Center for Responsible Nanotechnology. Rice University’s Smalley Institute for Nanoscale Science and Technology conducts joint research in nanoscience, nanoengineering and nanotechnology.