Research center promotes state aerospace innovation

SEATTLE – Washington State University had seven industry-collaboration projects selected recently for funding by the Joint Center for Aerospace Technology Innovation.

JCATI awarded $1.27 million in its second round of grant awards in 2013 to16 research projects with the goal to solve technological questions relevant to the Washington aerospace industry. Research funded includes investigations into the performance of composite materials for use in commercial aircraft manufacturing, the performance of aviation biofuels and the collaboration and control of multiple unmanned aerial systems.

The $1.27 million will leverage more than $3 million in additional matching funds and in-kind support.

A full list of funded awards can be found at

“Fifty-two proposals were received totaling $4.24 million in proposed aerospace research,” said Tim Stevens, chair of the JCATI board of directors and president of Triumph Composites in Spokane. “The board was once again impressed by the quantity and quality of the applications submitted by the faculty from the state’s universities and their industry partners.”

“I am so impressed that … this new research center was able to attract so many high quality proposals,” said Gov. Jay Inslee. “This demonstrates the tremendous appetite within Washington’s aerospace industry to innovate. I am very pleased that we now have a mechanism to match companies up with the rich resources available at our state’s universities.”

JCATI was established in 2012 to pursue joint industry-university research that will benefit the state’s aerospace industry. The grant process was open to researchers at any of the state’s six baccalaureate institutions.

Eight of the projects selected will be led by researchers at the University of Washington, seven at WSU and one at Western Washington University. 

A JCATI review committee representing both the academic and private sectors rated the proposals on technical/scientific merit, relevance to the Washington aerospace industry, matching funds or in-kind support from industry, feasibility of completion before the end of the current biennium and plans for longevity beyond the grant period. The review committee’s scores were used by JCATI’s governor-appointed board of directors to determine which projects would be funded.
For more information about JCATI, visit

Candis Claiborn, dean of the WSU College of Engineering and Architecture and JCATI board member, 509-335-5593,
Mehran Mesbahi, JCATI executive director, 206-685-8063,
Timothy Stevens, JCATI board chair, 206-685-8063,