A Navy research and development center has partnered with a consortium on a project that will speed up the creation of maritime technology

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MIDDLETON, R.I. (AP) — A Navy research and development center has partnered with a consortium on a project that will speed up the creation of maritime technology.

The Newport Daily News reports officials with the Naval Undersea Warfare Center Division Newport and the Undersea Technology Innovation Consortium gathered with elected leaders Monday in Middleton to discuss the agreement. The three-year contract allows for a minimum of $20 million to be distributed each year to tech companies.

Democratic U.S. Sen. Jack Reed, of Rhode Island, believes innovative small businesses and universities will help the federal government develop and distribute maritime technology quicker.

Consortium manager Lee Silvestre says in a statement the collective’s “unique skills” will help the U.S. defense community.

The agreement has options for up to 10 years.

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Information from: The Newport Daily News.