Battelle , the world's largest independent nonprofit research and development organization, and The Boeing Company, the world's largest aerospace company and leading manufacturer of commercial jetliners and defense, space and security systems, have signed a formal agreement to bid jointly to manage Sandia National Laboratories. The University of New Mexico , The Texas A&M University System and the University of Texas System are exclusive members of the Battelle and Boeing team.
"We have exactly the right team to lead an already outstanding laboratory and take it to an even higher level of excellence," said Jeffrey Wadsworth, Battelle President and CEO. "Battelle, Boeing and the universities look forward to working in close partnership with National Nuclear Security Administration to strengthen our nation's nuclear security posture."
The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) is seeking a new contractor to manage and operate Sandia National Laboratories (SNL). SNL is a federally funded research and development center and is responsible for non-nuclear engineering development of all U.S. nuclear weapons and for systems integration of the nuclear weapons with their delivery vehicles. The final request for proposals was issued on May 18, 2016 and a contract decision is anticipated by the end of this year.
"Sandia ensures the U.S. nuclear stockpile is safe, secure, and reliable and can fully support the nation's deterrence policy. Their mission of service to the nation is directly aligned with our team's mission," said Ed Dolanski, President, Boeing Global Services & Support. "Battelle's leadership in national lab management and Boeing's leadership in weapons and systems engineering will provide new capabilities to help NNSA more effectively meet their nuclear security objectives."
The University of New Mexico, the Texas A&M University System, and the University of Texas System will ensure that Sandia science, technology and engineering capabilities are sustained, enhanced and nurtured. The team will create new collaborative research programs with Sandia and develop stronger ties with New Mexico's colleges and universities.
Currently, more than 2,400 UNM graduates are employed at Sandia. "UNM and Sandia have shared a strong, multidimensional and strategic research collaboration for many decades, aligned both in proximity and in mission," said Robert G. Frank, President of UNM. "We believe that our team will strengthen our impact on research in national security and provide many benefits to the local community and the state of New Mexico."
The Texas A&M University System, which will lead the Texas Research and Education Partnership that includes the University of Texas System, is one of the largest systems of higher education in the nation with a statewide network of 11 universities and seven state agencies. "When this opportunity arose, Dr. Kathy Banks, Texas A&M Engineering Vice Chancellor and Dean, and I knew we were in a unique position to serve our nation. Four years ago, our first call was to Battelle, and this ideal team was created," said John Sharp, Chancellor of The Texas A&M University System. "The Texas A&M System has the capabilities, experience, and a history of national service that are unmatched by any other university system. This foundation positions us well as a key partner to lead Sandia National Laboratory to greater technical excellence, and Greg Abbott, Governor of Texas, was the key to making this partnership happen."
The University of Texas System is the second-largest public university system in the nation with an enrollment of 217,000 students across 14 institutions. The UT System has a long-standing relationship with Sandia National Laboratory and has worked closely with the Laboratory to supply the skilled scientists and engineers needed to support Sandia's mission and on numerous science and engineering projects that are important to the nation's security. "Partnering with industry and academic leaders in research and development areas that ultimately will help safeguard America is a phenomenal opportunity and the UT System is proud to be doing its part," said UT System Chancellor William H. McRaven. "This collaboration is a perfect fit, leveraging the research power of stellar universities as well as the expertise of Battelle and Boeing to elevate the already remarkable development coming out of Sandia National Laboratories."
Date: May 24, 2016