June 7, 2022

Naval Postgraduate School Foundation names Microsoft as 2022 Corporate Partner of the Year


The Naval Postgraduate School Foundation presented Microsoft with the 2022 Corporate Partner of the Year Award during the annual America’s Heroes Charity Golf Tournament dinner, here, June 6.

In its second year, the award recognizes a corporate partner that demonstrates continued innovation and support of education, research, and applied solutions that emerge from the Naval Postgraduate School and drive world-changing advancements for defense, industry, technology, climate and more — right now and into the future.

“The recently announced collaboration between the Naval Postgraduate School’s operationally experienced students and expert faculty and Microsoft’s team of technology experts will have immense impact on national security,” said Rich Patterson, NPS Foundation President. “This award recognizes Microsoft’s investment in the people, research and facilities at the Naval Postgraduate School and their shared interest in delivering rapid capabilities for the Fleet and Force.”

In May 2022, Microsoft and NPS announced a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) to explore highly complex issues associated with rapidly integrating and adopting new technologies in support of naval warfighting and national security.

“Microsoft and the Naval Postgraduate School share a commitment to accelerating research and development of advanced cloud technologies to support the mission of the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps,” said Jason Zander, Executive Vice President of Microsoft. “We are honored to be recognized as the Naval Postgraduate School Foundation’s Corporate Partner of the Year and look forward to continued collaboration in the years to come.”

The Naval Postgraduate School Foundation is supporting the newly established NPS-Microsoft agreement by developing a collaborative research tool, Project Athena, that began as a student project and early prototype. With support from the NPS Foundation, Athena is poised to be one of the first efforts to be scaled under the Cooperative Research Initiative. As the cornerstone of the Campus of the Future project, Athena will enable students, faculty, research and development partners, and DOD sponsors to work together as a team to solve the hardest and highest priority challenges facing our nation.

In addition to Campus of the Future and Project Athena, the CRADA supports a development effort to bring Gaming, Exercising, Modeling, and Simulation (GEMS) into the 21st Century, leading with the Project Voltron prototype later this year. Voltron integrates existing digital technologies that are already in DOD’s inventory and addresses key analog wargaming challenges.

As part of the partnership, Microsoft’s Executive Vice President Jason Zander connected with NPS students and faculty during a Secretary of the Navy Guest Lecture, also on June 6, to discuss fifth domain competition, defense industry relationships and the innovation ecosystem.

NPS produces critical research output and the leaders with diverse perspectives and collaborative ideas to drive America’s competitive advantage. As a partner in NPS’ mission, the Naval Postgraduate School Foundation is at the intersect of academia, defense and industry to address challenges and identify opportunities that transform ideas from some of our nation’s brightest into scalable solutions for the Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, and our allies.

The Collaborative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) does not constitute endorsement of Microsoft or its products and services by the Naval Postgraduate School, the Department of the Navy, or the Department of Defense.

About Naval Postgraduate School Foundation & Alumni Association

The Naval Postgraduate School Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit providing support and advocacy to the Naval Postgraduate School, our Nation's premier defense education and research institution. NPSF is at the intersect of engagement with students, alumni, faculty, the broader DOD, and industry in addressing challenges and identifying opportunities that advance the capabilities of the Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, and our allies. By funding defense innovation research, student and alumni programs, and NPS initiatives, NPSF lays the foundation for NPS to develop the leaders, technologies, and ideas our Nation needs to keep our service members safer abroad and us all safer at home.

Media Contact

Desiree Dillehay



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