With a $90M USAF Contract, Howard U will Lead a New Defense Tech Research Center

Thanks to a new collaboration with the U.S. Air Force, DC’s Howard University is making a big move into defense tech.

Howard just inked a five-year, $90 million contract with the Department of Defense (DoD) to establish the agency’s 15th University Affiliated Research Center. Howard will be the first historically Black college or university (HBCU) to lead one of these research centers, the latest of which is the first to be entirely funded by the Air Force. Through the contract, which is Howard’s first, the university will be awarded $18 million annually.

Danda Rawat, a professor of computer science and director of Howard’s Data Science and Cybersecurity Center, was selected as the center’s executive director and principal contract investigator. He told Technical.ly that Howard put forth a competitive proposal for the contract, alongside consortium institutions Jackson State University, Hampton University, Tuskegee University, Bowie State University, Delaware State University, Florida Memorial University, Norfolk State University and Tougaloo College.