Science and Technology
in service of the warfare state



The Pentagon's University Research Initiative

The URI (University Research Initiative) method of funding warfare science differs from the PI system in that URIs typically coordinate the research efforts of many professors working at different universities, and/or often across scientific disciplines and fields of study. Efforts that cross disciplinary boundaries are often called MURI (M for multidisciplinary). According to the Pentagon,

"MURI is a program designed to address large multidisciplinary topic areas representing exceptional opportunities for future DoD applications and technology options. The awards will provide long-term support for research, graduate students and laboratory instrumentation development that supports specific science and engineering research themes vital to national defense." (6)

17 MURI grants have been made for 2003 totaling $8.5 million in funding for this year, and rising to $17 million in 2004. Universities and projects which made the cut include; UC Santa Cruz professor Ali Shakouri╠s research into "Direct Thermal to Electric Energy Conversion" for the Navy; a CalTech researchers study on "Synthesis of Long Chained Sequence-Controlled Polymers"; Stanford University's "Laboratory Instrumentation Research Design"; along with 14 other projects at universities ranging from Harvard, Brown, and Notre Dame, to the University of Michigan, Wisconson, and Arizona.(6)