The Department of Defense announced today the selection of an academic team comprised of researchers from the U.S. and United Kingdom for the Bilateral Academic Research Initiative (BARI). The team is led by Dr. Maryam Shanechi at the University of Southern California for the U.S. and Dr. Riccardo Poli at the University of Essex for the U.K.
The U.S. research team will receive up to $3 million of U.S. Defense Department funding over three years, and the U.K. research team will receive up to £1.5 million from the U.K. Ministry of Defence (MOD) core research portfolio over the same time period.
BARI is a pilot program that supports high-risk basic research as a bilateral academic collaboration. BARI’s inaugural year focuses on artificial intelligence and collaborative decision-making. Specifically, BARI sought proposals that build new frameworks for artificial intelligence agents to more truly team with human counterparts, according to DoD. BARI also proposes to support academic teams from the U.S. and U.K. to combine unique skillsets and approaches and provide rapid advances in scientific areas of mutual potential interest to both countries.
The awarded team has proposed an innovative approach to create novel frameworks for humans and machines to be effective, collaborative teammates, said Dr. Bindu Nair, deputy director for Basic Research. In addition to its scientific potential, this team also represents an important collaborative effort in the long tradition of U.S.-U.K. partnerships. Dr. Kate Griffin, deputy head Portfolio Commissioning for Defense Science and Technology (DST) in the U.K. MOD concurred, adding, "The awarded teams proposal is scientifically ambitious and represents a truly integrated bilateral research team."
BARI is jointly sponsored by the Basic Research Office in the U.S. Office of the Secretary of Defense and the U.K. MOD. The project will be managed by subject matter experts from a joint service team from the Army Research Office, Air Force Office of Scientific Research, and Office of Naval Research as well as from the U.K. Defense Science and Technology Laboratory.
For more information on the Basic Research Office, please visit: http://basicresearch.defense.gov/.