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NEWS | June 21, 2021

Navy’s Local ‘Tech Bridge’ Brings South Carolina Research Authority Onboard

By Steve Ghiringhelli Naval Information Warfare Systems Command (NAVWAR)

Naval Information Warfare Center (NIWC) Atlantic’s Palmetto Tech Bridge (PTB) announced in early June a partnership forged with the South Carolina Research Authority (SCRA) to promote mutually beneficial advancements in technology in the public and private sectors.

Called a Partnership Intermediary Agreement, the memorandum establishes SCRA as an intermediary that supports PTB operations by assisting with the identification of, and coordination with, organizations that are interested and capable of engaging in productive collaboration with NIWC Atlantic.

“Off-base tech bridges demonstrate the Department of the Navy’s determination in increasing collaboration, knowledge-sharing and modernization among federal labs, academia, research institutions and leading-edge tech companies,” said Peter C. Reddy, NIWC Atlantic executive director. “As our first major innovation partner, we welcome SCRA into the PTB’s pressing mission of accelerating solutions to the nation’s warfighters.”

The mission of the PTB is to promote and expand the integration of businesses and institutions of higher learning into the Navy’s latest national initiative of supporting regional ecosystems of innovation that solve hard technology problems and assure relevancy in the modern era of rapid technology advancement and competition.

SCRA is a public, nonprofit corporation chartered in 1983 by the state of South Carolina to foster the Palmetto State’s “innovation economy” by supporting entrepreneurs and technology startups, enabling academic research and its commercialization, and connecting industry to innovators.

“We are proud to officially partner with NIWC Atlantic’s Palmetto Tech Bridge,” said Bob Quinn, SCRA executive director. “This partnership has tremendous potential for our member companies and many others, and we look forward to serving as a connector and facilitator between and among academia, entrepreneurs, industry and the Navy.”

Tech bridges meet the nation’s demand for uninterrupted vigilance, fail-safe cybersecurity and engineering excellence by drawing on wellsprings of innovation found both inside and outside of government labs, according to NIWC Atlantic engineer Michael Merriken, who has served as PTB director since its inception in 2019.

“The Carolinas offer a unique blend of state-of-the-art industry, entrepreneurial spirit, American historical significance and a proud maritime military tradition,” Merriken said. “With partners like SCRA, the PTB can become a center of excellence that develops ‘dual-use solutions’ — meeting both national defense needs and enhance the region’s economic strength with innovative commercial products.”

In conjunction with the new partnership, SCRA will host collaboration events at its office building in Summerville. The off-base location offers an easily accessible landing spot for representatives of government, private industry and academia to meet and build productive partnerships.


About NIWC Atlantic
As a part of Naval Information Warfare Systems Command, NIWC Atlantic provides systems engineering and acquisition to deliver information warfare capabilities to the naval, joint and national warfighter through the acquisition, development, integration, production, test, deployment, and sustainment of interoperable command, control, communications, computer, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance, cyber and information technology capabilities.

About Palmetto Tech Bridge
Partnering with NavalX and NIWC Atlantic, the Palmetto Tech Bridge connects, reinforces and sustains the acceleration of technological ecosystems across the Department of the Navy and the broader Department of Defense. Our core focus areas are cyber security, communications and autonomous systems for the advancement of government, academia and private business technologies. Learn more at

About South Carolina Research Authority
Chartered in 1983 by the State of South Carolina as a public, nonprofit corporation, South Carolina Research Authority (SCRA) fuels South Carolina’s innovation economy through the impact of its four programs: SC Academic Innovations, SC Facilities, SC Industry Solutions and SC Launch. Learn more at