REEgen, Inc. Awarded $200K by AFRL to Scale Up Bacteria-Based Rare Earth Element (REE) Purification

ITHACA, NY – July 2, 2024 – The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) Regional Network – Mid-Atlantic, a leading pilot innovation network that fosters collaboration across academia, industry, and defense to fuel dual-use commercialization and technological advancements, announced today it awarded $700,000 in project funding to five teams for the Spring 2024 cycle.

The projects focus on a wide range of technologies, including advanced edge computing solutions, medical imaging techniques, space technology applications, computer vision for navigation in challenging environments, and sustainable methods for rare earth element purification.

The funded projects including the following:

Stage 1 Awards ($100K)

  • “Novel Edge Computing Technology Integration [NECTI]” – a partnership between SRC Inc. and the AFRL Information Directorate
  • “Label-free measurement of burn injuries via short wave infrared spatial frequency domain imaging of tissue water content in support of directed energy biosafety” – a joint effort led by Boston University with the AFRL Human Performance Directorate
  • “Space-Based Edge Computing for Enhanced Operational Capabilities” – a collaboration led by Voyager Space with participation from AFRL Materials and Manufacturing Directorate

Stage 3 Awards ($200K)

  • “Navigation with Computer Vision in GPS-Denied Environments” – a partnership between Skyline Nav AI and the AFRL Information Directorate
  • “Scaling up bacteria-based rare earth element (REE) purification” – a collaboration between REEgen, Inc. and the AFRL Materials and Manufacturing Directorate

“The diversity and scope of these projects reflect the AFRL’s commitment to pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in technology and its applications,” said Dr. John Luginsland Collaboration Director of the AFRL Regional Network – Mid-Atlantic. “These investments enable the kind of rapid and agile development that keeps our nation at the forefront of innovation in both defense and commercial sectors.”

For more information about upcoming proposal solicitations and events, membership, or to join the Mid-Atlantic Hub’s email distribution list, please visit



The AFRL Regional Hub Network – Mid-Atlantic is a pilot network supported by the Air Force Research Lab and led by Cornell University. Founding member institutions include Binghamton University, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Columbia University, Griffiss Institute, Johns Hopkins University, Princeton University, SUNY Polytechnic Institute, and the SUNY Research Foundation. The Mid-Atlantic Hub aims to provide key connections between industry, academia, and the government to foster innovation of critical technologies. For more information about the Hub or inquire about becoming a member, visit


The Air Force Research Laboratory, or AFRL, is the primary scientific research and development center for the Department of the Air Force. AFRL plays an integral role in leading the discovery, development, and integration of affordable warfighting technologies for our air, space and cyberspace force. With a workforce of more than 11,500 across nine technology areas and 40 other operations across the globe, AFRL provides a diverse portfolio of science and technology ranging from fundamental to advanced research and technology development. For more information, visit