Riverside company lands $195M Air Force contract

Riverside-based SP Global Institute has won a $195 million award from the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory that will fund autonomy research, development and commercializing projects across the nation, the company said.

“This is an exciting announcement for SP Global Institute and for our many partners, including Ohio University and the Russ Research Center in Beavercreek,” Tim Shaw, SP vice president, said in an announcement. “Our team has spent the past several months focusing all (SP Global)’s efforts on designing a revolutionary consortium that centers on our members bringing the best in autonomy innovation to the Air Force and to our warfighters.”

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Asked Monday whether the project will mean new Dayton-area jobs, Shaw said: “That is what we are hoping for — to bring this research all the way to commercialization, and that would mean jobs.”

The research project — dubbed “ARCNet” — will be located at Ohio University’s Russ Research Center. The center is a 60-acre high-tech research park in the 2600- and 2700-block of Indian Ripple Road.

Ken Wall, former FBI supervisory special agent, has been hired to direct the project, the company’s announcement said.

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“ARCNet thrust areas include autonomy, precision navigation and timing, and cyber-physical systems security across the many families-of-systems and mission profiles that will strengthen the national aerospace autonomy industrial base,” Wall said. “Each consortium project must have value-add for the Air Force and other sponsoring branches of the federal government, as well as for consortium members, and must have a demonstrated return-on-investment.”

The chief executive of SP’s parent company, SPG Holding LLC CEO Thomas Burns, hailed the news.

“We are extremely excited about this selection and look forward to working with the Air Force,” Burns said.

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