Triumph Gulf Coast funding will help bolster research capabilities at Pensacola campus

An investment of $7.8 million from Triumph Gulf Coast will allow IHMC to bolster its research capabilities with a facility designed to handle sensitive federal research in support of Department of Defense and intelligence community customers.

The grant to the Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition was approved by Triumph’s board of directors in December 2023. Previous Triumph funding helped seed the $40 million Healthspan, Resilience, and Performance (HRP) research complex now under construction. The story is featured in the latest edition of IHMC’s newsletter, which is available now.

The award includes funding to construct a highly flexible, multilevel secure facility. The addition of secure capabilities will bolster the institute’s ability to meet federal grant and contract security requirements. Dr. Morley Stone, IHMC’s Chief Strategic Partnership Officer, says such a facility allows the Institute “to work at a deeper level with key research sponsors and better address their needs.”

Absent the facility, Stone said, travel is required for discussions with some defense-related research sponsors. “Having those discussions locally, and by having the sponsor interact with our researchers and see our facilities, that often leads to more sponsored work.”

David Bear, chairman of the Triumph Board of Directors, says the secure facility is the type of project the board likes to support. Triumph is the nonprofit corporation funded by a legal settlement with BP following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

“IHMC continues to build on the success of its Healthspan, Resilience, and Performance program,” Bear says. The addition of secure facility capabilities expands IHMC’s ability to bring economically impactful research opportunities to the region far beyond the term of this grant, continually improving and diversifying our economy.”

The grant will provide a much-needed secure environment for sensitive federal activities related to requirements stemming from national defense, intelligence, and security sponsors. It also will facilitate collaboration with government agencies, defense contractors, and other research organizations involved in research which demands the greatest protections.

“The incorporation of secure facilities and secure processing capabilities within our new facility will fortify our research capabilities, increase research opportunities, and establish IHMC as a regional leader in research advancements for Government sponsors requiring these highly specialized assets.”said Ryan Tilley, IHMC’s director of strategic program execution and innovation.

The grant also includes funding for additional equipment related to the HRP research that will be housed at the new complex at the corner of Garden and Alcaniz streets.

“Over the course of our work on this project, and as research technology advances, we have identified the need for additional specialized equipment that will significantly contribute to the quality and depth of our research efforts. We are proud that Triumph sees IHMC as a leader in this effort and we are grateful for their support,” Tilley said.

The HRP complex will be a one-of-kind facility for healthspan, resilience, and performance research that also bolsters the regional economy through new funding in federal and industry-sponsored research. The complex will become a hub for collaboration with regional institutions and organizations that share an interest in healthspan and performance.

IHMC is a not-for-profit research institute of the Florida University System where researchers pioneer science and technology aimed at leveraging and extending human capabilities. IHMC researchers and staff collaborate extensively with the government, industry and academia to help develop breakthrough technologies. IHMC research partners have included: DARPA, the National Science Foundation, NASA, Army, Navy, Air Force, National Institutes of Health, IBM, Microsoft, Honda, Boeing, Lockheed, and many others.