Working Together to Grow Research Talent

The purpose of the OFRN is to organize and resource collaborative research initiatives within the University System of Ohio that align with and support priority mission requirements at Ohio’s four federal labs (AFRL, NAMRU-D, NASA GRC, NASIC) to grow our research talent base, attract outside public and private investment and to retain and create new jobs in Ohio.

Central to this mission are our Centers of Excellence (COE). Six COEs have been established, and funding received for aligned research projects, with high commercialization potential. An overview of all six centers is presented below. To contact OFRN for more detailed information, please visit our Contact page.

C2PNT – Communications, Cyber, Positioning, Navigation & Timing


The ability to count on assured, secure air and space communication for signals, including PNT radio signals, is critical for our military.  This capability is constantly challenged by ever-changing and harsh battlefield conditions and the acceleration of anti-communication technologies. The vision of the C2PNT COE is to create a true government, university, and industry partnership focused on creating new and sustainable markets in the State of Ohio that can address the electronic communications, cyber, positioning, navigation, and timing needs of our federal laboratories.

OFRN-funded research to date in the Communications, Cyber, Positioning, Navigation, and Timing (C2PNT) Center of Excellence:

  • Intelligent Channel Sensing based Secure Cross Layer Cognitive Networking for Resilient Space (and Aerial) Communication
  • Test and Evaluation of Autonomous Systems (TEAS)


C4ISR – Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance & Reconnaissance


Our military and intelligence community leaders need increasing sophisticated information collection, analysis, and predictive intelligence in support of critical decisions in defense of our country. The vision of the C4ISR COE is to develop and validate next generation technologies and systems that will enable these advances. Areas of research emphasis include sensor technologies, systems and big data exploitation techniques.

OFRN-funded research to date in the Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C4ISR) Center of Excellence:

  • Human Centered Big Data (HCBD)


Human Performance and Health Sciences

writeOwing to the pre-eminent role of the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Dayton facility in continuing to push the boundaries of human performance for Air Force pilots, Ohio is a global leader in these related cognitive and biological technologies. The Center for Human Performance and Health Science is committed to using this existing strength as a springboard to next-generation innovations in commercial healthcare and logistics operations.

OFRN-funded research to date in the Human Performance and Health Sciences Center of Excellence:

  • Regional Live Virtual Construct Environment
  • Sliding-Scale Autonomy through Physiological Rhythm Evaluations
  • Motion Sickness Interactions with Spine Disorders
  • Advanced Cognitive and Physical Sweat Bio-sensing


Materials and Advanced Manufacturing

udriManufacturing has been a particular strength of Ohio’s for generations, and materials and advanced manufacturing are key foundational technologies in the areas of advanced propulsion, electronics and structures. By capitalizing on research breakthroughs in promising advanced materials for high-performance applications, the state’s manufacturing base can remain at the cutting edge of emerging innovations while strengthening its supply chains in key industries.

OFRN-funded research to date in the Materials and Advanced Manufacturing Center of Excellence:

  • High Performance Plastic Substrates for Flexible Electronics
  • Adaptive Shape Memory Bio-Inspired Aerospace Structures
  • High Temperature Magnetic Materials
  • Low Cost Manufacturing for Limited Production Aircraft Composite Structures


PRESIDES-Energy Storage and Integration

caseNext-generation aircraft, spacecraft and land vehicles will require more powerful and thermally stable batteries and energy storage systems. PRESIDES focuses on advancing energy storage and integration technologies that have demonstrated commercial viability in defense and space exploration. The center leverages the research capabilities of its partners and its strong industry relationships with Ohio companies in the aerospace, transportation and energy sectors to create those solutions. PRESIDES aims to establish Ohio as a national leader in energy storage and integration for defense and space exploration priorities.

OFRN-funded research to date in the PRESIDES Center of Excellence:

  • High Energy Density Advanced Silicon Anodes
  • Thermally Safe Li-S Batteries
  • High Performance Structural Energy Storage


Propulsion and Power

osuThe mission of the Center for Propulsion & Power is to continue Ohio’s leadership position in fuel efficient power and propulsion systems by driving collaborative research on technical advances in gas turbines, lasers and enhanced aircraft power, all while simultaneously lowering carbon emissions into the atmosphere.

OFRN-funded research to date in the Propulsion and Power Center of Excellence:

  • Hybrid Turbo Electric Propulsion
  • Intelligent Control Architectures for Aviation Electric Power Systems
  • UAV Icing Protection
  • Advanced Turbine Cooling
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