The consortium will bring together a wealth of resources in North Carolina to provide world-class solutions to the military
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A newly launched consortium led by RTI International and comprised of more than 25 North Carolina-based academic, industry, nonprofit and state government organizations will bring together expertise from a variety of fields to offer world-class human performance solutions to the Department of Defense (DoD).
The consortium, called the North Carolina Center for Optimizing Military Performance, or NC-COMP, will focus on delivering solutions centered around preventing injury and speeding recovery, maintaining performance in multi-stressor environments, and enhancing baseline physical and mental performance.
“To optimize military performance, it is important to consider how physical, cognitive, and psychological health factors influence the overall well-being of Service members,” said Dennis McGurk, Ph.D., an expert in military medical research and development at RTI who spent more than 25 years in the U.S. Army. “After all, Service members are subjected to an enormous amount of stress at home station, during training and while on deployments, and how they handle those stressors has a direct influence on mission effectiveness.”
In addition to RTI, the consortium currently includes the following founding member organizations: the 16-institution University of North Carolina System; North Carolina Biotechnology Center; The Geneva Foundation and Fort Bragg Research Institute (FBRI); the ASSIST Center at NCSU; BioMojo; Bionica Labs; Defense Alliance of North Carolina (DANC); Duke Center for Hyperbaric Medicine and Environmental Physiology; Duke University; ECU Office of National Security & Industry Initiatives; Emerging Technology Institute (ETI); First Flight Venture Center; Horizon Performance; KAATSU; North Carolina A&T State University; the NC Defense Technology Transition Office (DEFTECH); North Carolina Department of Commerce; North Carolina State University (NCSU); NuFabrx; OptiLab; Phil Williams LLC; Reef Systems; RTI Innovation Advisors; SAS; TRX Elite; UNC-Chapel Hill; University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Matthew Gfeller Center; UNC Charlotte; and UNC Wilmington.
“As a former Special Operations Soldier and medical officer, I’m keenly aware of the challenges our great nation’s warriors face in combat,” said Stephen DeLellis, PA-C, retired Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Army and executive director of the Fort Bragg Research Institute (FBRI), a collaborative effort between Womack Army Medical Center, Fort Bragg, and The Geneva Foundation. “NC-COMP offers commanders a whole host of capabilities to create solutions to meet those needs, not only for today’s warfighter but for the future fight as well. As a proud founding member of this collaborative, we are focused on producing effective, evidence-based solutions to support the gaps, needs and requirements of our nation’s warfighters.”
The launch of NC-COMP comes in the wake of a study conducted last year by RTI, on behalf of the Defense Alliance of North Carolina, that found North Carolina is a market with great potential for growth for defense contracts and is among the fastest growing states in the nation for technology areas being targeted by the DoD.
“One of the most unique advantages of establishing this type of operation in North Carolina is that we have all the critical ingredients for success – world-renowned universities and research organizations, innovative high-tech companies, and thousands of operational military ‘end users’ — all within a short driving distance,” said Kathie Sidner, director of defense and military partnerships at the University of North Carolina System. “But even better, we have a robust history of combining these assets through strong partnerships between academia, industry, and DoD elements in the state to deliver solutions.”
In addition to pooling resources from member organizations, NC-COMP will partner with outside consortia and DoD organizations to provide unparalleled access to best-in-breed technologies and services.
“One of the benefits to working with NC-COMP is the diverse array of partners that have signed on to working towards developing solutions to address the human performance challenges faced by our Service members,” said Mary Beth Thomas, senior vice president, science and business development, at the North Carolina Biotechnology Center. “Not only do they bring a wide variety of experiences and knowledge, but the purposeful intent to collaborate in order to accelerate potential solutions into the hands of our Service members.”
A virtual launch event for NC-COMP will be held on Sept. 16 from 1-2 p.m. ET.
North Carolina Center for Optimizing Military Performance (NC-COMP) is an emerging consortium of North Carolina-based academic, nonprofit, industry, and state government organizations, collaborating with Department of Defense labs and operational units, that will conduct the full spectrum of research, development, test and evaluation, technology transition, production and commercialization to deliver solutions for critical warfighter performance gaps. NC-COMP takes an interdisciplinary, holistic approach to optimizing performance of DoD Service members across three main thrusts: (1) preventing injury and speeding recovery; (2) maintaining performance in multi-stressor environments; and (3) enhancing baseline physical and mental performance.