KRMG In Depth: ORU, Redwire sign agreement to work together on space research projects

A Mutual Understanding and Agreement was signed by Oral Roberts University and Redwire Space, April 2, 2024

Oral Roberts University hosted a luncheon Tuesday at which an agreement between the school and space infrastructure company Redwire was announced.

The featured speaker at the Join the ORU Fenimore & Fisher College of Business spring PECE (Partner in Economics, Commerce and Entrepreneurship) event was former Congressman and NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine.

[Hear the KRMG In-Depth Report on the ORU-Redwire agreement HERE]

He was instrumental in forging the Mutual Understanding and Agreement between ORU and Redwire.

“The university knows how to do research, and the company knows how to build the hardware and operate in space,” he told KRMG. “It works really good. Now, the value is - once that marriage is made - then you can go compete to get research grants from the National Institute of Health, the National Science Foundation, NASA, DARPA, other federal agencies that are interested in different type of research.”

As previously reported by KRMG, Bridenstine says incredible medical breakthroughs are one of the primary goals and possibilities of research conducted in the microgravity of space.

Next, he says, the company and the university will begin to hammer out where they’ll focus their efforts.

“We need to look at the solicitations coming from the different federal agencies,” he said, “and then we need to start competing for those solicitations. The idea is, we want to build those ecosystems here in Oklahoma. That’s our goal.”

Rich Boling is Vice President of Redwire in its Space Manufacturing and Business unit.

He told KRMG the company has a lot of experience on any number of projects in space.

“Our company does engineering, things related to medicine. The space station is being powered by our solar arrays... We’ve got a rover that we’re building for the moon that will pave roads and landing pads on the moon. And then the biomedical component - so, there’s so much going on here at ORU that kind of maps to areas within Redwire that I think we’ll have some effective areas of cooperation across the board,” he said Tuesday.

ORU President Dr. Billy Williams spoke briefly before signing the agreement, joking that the university would have new territory to conquer.

“By 2030, we want someone from every nation on Earth studying at Oral Roberts University,” he said, noting that they’ll soon have 193 nations represented. “So when I heard about Redwire, I thought ‘hey, we’re working on all of the Earth - we can get something going in space.”

Bridenstine remarked that ORU students will benefit from the agreement because they’ll have real-life experience dealing with agencies like NASA before they even graduate.

“This partnership is, I think, going to be tremendously valuable for both organizations,” he said, “so thank you both for being partners.”





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