Leaders from USC, the U.S. Army, the Department of Defense and the White House marked the official opening of ARL West with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the facility’s new home, the USC Institute for Creative Technologies in Playa Vista.
ARL West, the Army’s largest university research lab west of the Mississippi, represents a new model for Army, academic and industry partnerships that aims to spur innovation by opening access to Army labs. It is also part of a larger Department of Defense strategy to increase collaboration with top scientists and engineers in California. ARL West will leverage ICT, USC and regional expertise in areas including virtual reality, data visualization and human-robot interaction.
“ARL West’s open campus means USC’s outstanding scientists and engineers will work side by side with the best and brightest from the Army and from the regional tech industry,” USC President C. L. Max Nikias said at the April 13 event. “Whether through data analysis, robotics, wearable electronics or virtual reality headsets, we expect this joint venture to carve new roads that no map-maker could anticipate.”
“I’m excited that today we open a facility dedicated to the art of the possible where the next ‘ah ha’ moment could happen, leading to game-changing discoveries and innovations that will forever change mankind,” said Thomas Russell, director of ARL, in his ribbon-cutting remarks.