Michigan Tech Signs Research Agreement with Google ATAP.
Michigan Tech and Google’s Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP) group have signed an open ended research agreement which will make it possible for Tech faculty and students to work directly on a variety of research and development projects with the Silicon Valley powerhouse.
The agreement is known as the Pilot Multi University Sponsored Research Agreement, or MURA. Google ATAP has similar partnerships with about 30 other universities in the U.S. and abroad. The MURA concept is part of Google ATAP’s effort to use and promote the technological talent and innovation on America’s university campuses to help strengthen its own technology portfolio. The ATAP division at Google is headed by Regina Dugan, former director of the Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA.
Not surprisingly, the ATAP model looks a lot like what one finds at DARPA: high-risk, high-impact projects with a short two-year timeline and a team of researchers from multiple institutions working with intense focus on results. The idea is to develop a breakthrough innovation that may or may not fit within other Google business units, and at the end of the two-year period either take it internally for further development and commercialization, spin it off, or scrap it.
The MURA is a single contract between Google ATAP and Michigan Tech which serves as a vehicle for multiple projects as they become available. An individual project is defined using a Statement of Work (SOW) and a budget, and after a brief negotiation the project can be added to the master contract. The aim is to shorten the lead time between initial contact and getting started with research.
The first Michigan Tech project under the MURA is being led by Professor and Department Chair Daniel R. Fuhrmann, along with ECE colleagues Saeid Nooshabadi and Aurenice Oliveira, on a technology development program that has not yet been publicly released.
“I am thrilled to be a part of this new relationship,” Fuhrmann said. “We are grateful that Google has put their faith in Michigan Tech, and we will do everything we can to earn that trust.”
Taken from ECE 2015 Annual Report