UNCW Joins Statewide Consortium to Develop Human Performance Technologies and Services for Nation’s Military

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

UNCW, in collaboration with more than 25 North Carolina-based academic, industry, nonprofit and state government organizations, will join the North Carolina Center for Optimizing Military Performance, a new consortium tasked with developing world-class human performance solutions for the nation’s military. 

“Our university is home to a growing base of military affiliates – current and former military and their loved ones,” said Karl Ricanek, director of UNCW Institute for Interdisciplinary Identity Sciences (I3S) and UNCW liaison to NC-COMP. “Being a part of NC-COMP is our way of being directly involved in the lives of our current and potential students. We want to be sure these students understand the body of work we do has a direct impact on them as well as national security.” 

Historically, UNCW has a long tradition of working to solve problems for America’s war fighters. The university has worked with the Department of Defense and others within the intelligence community on funded research projects for nearly two decades. In the past 10 years, UNCW has worked through the UNC System as one of the founding members of the Defense Application Group, a collaborative effort to solve research problems for the military.  

The NC-COMP consortium will focus on interdisciplinary and holistic research and development to address three main areas: preventing injury and speeding recovery, maintaining performance in multi-stressor environments, and enhancing baseline physical and mental performance for service members. 

Ricanek explained that there are several current UNCW research endeavors that can impact the work of NC-COMP. For example, studies on mild traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder, suicide and suicide prevention, new technologies for prehabilitation or rehabilitation and health assessments through facial analytics all fall under the umbrella of NC-COMP's mission to find innovative solutions to fill critical performance gaps within the military. 

A virtual launch event for NC-COMP will be held on Sept. 16 from 1-2 p.m. hosted by RTI International. Participants will hear from Congressman David Price, Congressman Richard Hudson, consortium leaders, and partner teams about the vision and mission of NC-COMP; the benefits to service members, DoD agencies and the economy; and the latest innovations underway.  

For more information on NC-COMP, read the full media release. 

-- Krissy Vick