The US Department of Defense will provide $5 million for UNC Charlotte’s optoelectronics and optical communications program, Congressman Robin Hayes and university officials announced Wednesday.

The funding will support research and instrumentation in the Center for Optoelectronics and Optical Communications, which already has the infrastructure in place to provide assistance to emerging optical technologies and existing industries.

The money will also help solidify UNC Charlotte’s role as a research leader in optical technologies and help the university as it develops an optoelectronics corridor in the Carolinas that will sustain and attract industry and position the university as a leader in the field.

“I am proud to say, as a member of the House Armed Services Committee, this funding will allow necessary research to be done in the field of optoelectronics that can help equip our military personnel with more technologically advanced system,” said Hayes, who represents the state’s 8th Congressional District.

The Center is part of the Charlotte Institute for Technology Innovation, formed earlier this year. The Institute’s other areas of focus are precision metrology and information technology.