BAE Systems Manager Elected Chair of the NHIRC Oversight Committee
Media Contact:  Paula Pelletier
UNH Office for Research Partnerships and Commercialization
Nov. 2, 2009

DURHAM, N.H. – Richard L. Powers of BAE Systems was recently elected chair of the New Hampshire Innovation Research Center (NHIRC) Oversight Committee.

The NHIRC funds partnership projects between New Hampshire companies and academic institutions via the Granite State Technology Innovation Grant. Grants are awarded through an RFP process and are matched by company contributions. Past projects have been in the areas of materials science, environmental technology, nanotechnology, plant biology, medical technologies, and more. 

Powers is the director of advanced intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance solutions at BAE Systems and has been a member of the NHIRC Oversight Committee, representing the NH large business sector, since 2003. He directed the committee through a strategic thinking process in 2005 which resulted in a change to the name of the program, from “Industrial Research Center” to “Innovation Research Center” and a more focused purpose for the NHIRC “to increase the pace of innovative technology developments that expand the New Hampshire economy, increase the number and quality of jobs in New Hampshire, and cause New Hampshire to be more competitive in the world economy.”

Powers says, “In many ways the Oversight Committee is like the ‘CEO’ of the NHIRC program. We have to develop a vision for the future such that we can agree on how to apply the resources we have to achieving that vision. The NHIRC program is all about creating an advantage for NH businesses and the state overall.” Powers has a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Lowell and Master of Science degree from Northeastern University, both in electrical engineering and has been with BAE Systems and its predecessors since 1978. He resides with his wife and daughter in Brookline.

The NHIRC Oversight Committee has representation from NH business, government and academia. The state Department of Resources and Economic Development distributes funds to the NHIRC and refers companies to the NHIRC for assistance. The NHIRC is administered by the Office for Research Partnerships and Commercialization at the University of New Hampshire. Since 1992 the NHIRC has awarded more than $5 million in 176 grants to university labs to benefit 125 companies.