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BBN Lands $81 Million Army Contract

The lab will carry out pure research in networking, and will be responsible for transitioning new technologies to the Department of Defense.

Internet pioneer BBN Technologies has won an $81 million contract to establish what it calls "the nation's largest network science research center."

BBN said the facility will be headquartered in Cambridge, Mass., and will act as the consolidator of more than 30 university and individual research and development labs. While some research partners will continue working from their facilities, others will use the BBN facility as their base.

The laboratory will carry out pure research in networking, but will also be responsible for transitioning new technologies to the Department of Defense. The contract will cover five years.

"This contract award reinforces our leadership in networking research," said Tad Elmer, president of Raytheon BBN Technologies in a statement. "Our team is determined to develop the underlying technologies that will make networks more flexible, adaptable and secure."

BBN Technologies was acquired by Raytheon in October for $350 million. As Bolt Beraneck and Newman, the firm pioneered the Internet decades ago, developing packet switching, first for the ARPANET and later for the Internet. BBN claimed to have been first to establish e-mail for the Internet. It was the first to use the @ sign in e-mail.

After its early years in which BBN carried out many basic research projects, the company was bounced from company to company, after it was initially acquired by GTE.

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