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Army cuts ribbon on West Coast research lab at USC

The facility, the Army’s largest research lab at a university, aims to spur innovation through more open access and tap into USC expertise

President Nikias shakes hands with Lt. Gen. Larry Wyche
USC President C. L. Max Nikias shakes hands with Lt. Gen. Larry Wyche as Major Gen. John F. Wharton looks on. (USC Photo/Gus Ruelas)
President Nikias speaks

USC President C. L. Max Nikias speaks during the ARL West ribbon-cutting ceremony. (USC Photo/Gus Ruelas)

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.

Army Research Lab Ribbon Cutting ceremony

The colors are presented during the ARL West ribbon-cutting. (USC Photo/Gus Ruelas)

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Army cuts ribbon on West Coast research lab at USC

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