Lexington, Massachusetts, USA - AER Inc., a leading provider of atmospheric and environmental research and development for commercial and government markets, and the University of Oklahoma (OU) announced today a strategic alliance to leverage their complementary strengths on initiatives spanning a broad range of weather- and climate-related research and development. AER's focus on satellite remote sensing, data assimilation and ensemble forecasting complements OU expertise in storm scale forecasting, data assimilation, mesoscale modeling and radar remote sensing.
Thursday, 31 March 2005 – "Our combined expertise enables AER and the University of Oklahoma research community to explore exciting new methods to enhance the performance of weather predictions by exploiting ground based and remotely sensed data from existing and future sensor systems," said Ron Isaacs, Executive Vice President of AER. "We are excited about the possibilities this alliance brings."
"Identifying and addressing opportunities previously untouched, with science that is more robust in its cross-disciplinary approach, promises outstanding results," said OU President David L. Boren. "Both OU and AER are looking forward to meeting this challenge as they move forward in areas of common interest. The University welcomes this alliance with AER as another step in its efforts to work more closely with industry."
Research in the weather and climate enterprise has largely been a stovepipe effort of the private, public and academic sectors with minimal proactive interaction among the groups. Often competing for the same research dollars, the existing structure has offered minimal opportunity to expand the 'economic pie' by collaborating in a more functional way in a larger more diverse marketplace.
"This type of alliance between academia and industry is an increasingly vital component of research and education," noted Kelvin Droegemeier, OU Professor of Meteorology and Director of the Sasaki Institute and of the Center for Analysis and Prediction of Storms. "It not only stimulates creativity by bringing together experts from a variety of perspectives and disciplines, but it also helps ensure that the outcomes of research are turned into services that benefit society and stimulate economic development." Droegemeier added, "The assimilation of data into prediction models is one of the most challenging problems facing meteorology today, and since some of the world's leading experts are at OU and AER, the alliance offers promise for making considerable advances."
Too often in the past, research results of university faculty - often termed "intellectual property" - took years to evolve into applications. Development of collaborations with industry is part of OU's strategic plan to ensure that such results are developed more rapidly into applications for public and commercial use. In recent years, OU has been working in concert with companies such as AER to develop ways of collaborating on research and development projects for mutual benefit.
Founded in 1977, Atmospheric and Environmental Research, Inc. is an award-winning environmental research and consulting company with demonstrated expertise in numerical weather prediction, remote sensing, satellite meteorology, climate dynamics and radiation, circulation diagnostics, atmospheric chemistry, air quality and risk assessment, planetary sciences, and systems engineering. With the acquisition of Radex, Inc. in July 2004 corporate capabilities have expanded to include space weather and weather impact decision aids. In addition to its Lexington, MA headquarters, AER has offices and personnel in Colorado, Virginia, Omaha, NE; and San Francisco, CA. For more information visit our web site at www.aer.com.
Created by the Oklahoma Territorial Legislature in 1890, the University of Oklahoma is a comprehensive research university serving the educational, cultural, economic and health care needs of Oklahoma and the nation. OU's Norman campus serves as home to the University's academic, research, and outreach programs in weather and climate. Also on the campus are five federal research and development facilities and operational centers, notably the NOAA National Severe Storms Laboratory and National Weather Service's Storm Prediction Center. The University and NOAA are currently working together to construct the National Weather Center, a state-of-the-science weather research and operations facility that will open in spring 2006. For more information on OU, visit www.ou.edu; for information on the National Weather Center facility and programs, see www.nwc.ou.edu.
Contact: AER, Inc.