Though it’s unclear whether Purdue will get any federal funding from the deal, President Mitch Daniels inked an agreement with the U.S. Navy Thursday to jointly research energy projects.
Daniels was joined in West Lafayette by Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus, who touted his branch of the military as a historical leader in energy initiatives – pointing out Navy ships have transitioned from wind to coal to oil to nuclear power in 238 years on the seas.
Mabus more than once mentioned the benefits to the Crane Naval Surface Warfare Center in Martin County, and to farmers across the state. But he stopped short of saying Purdue would reap any financial benefit.
Purdue Energy Center Director Maureen McCann says she hopes that funding materializes, especially because of existing relationships with the Departments of Agriculture, Energy and Defense.
“Our main funding sources are from USDA and DOE and some from DOD as well," McCann says. "So the fact that the Navy has put a sort of stamp of authentication on our efforts here can only help with our own needs in securing federal funds.”
The partnership is slated to last five years.