The U.S. Department of Defense recently awarded a five-year, $77.2 million contract to a University of Hawaii Manoa laboratory for research and development on a wide range of areas, the university said in a press release.

The Applied Research Laboratory at UH Manoa was first established in 2008 amid campus protests over its contract work with the defense department. Protestors worried that the lab would be conducting weapons testing, but ARL Director Margo Edwards told Civil Beat in December that is not the case.

The U.S. Department of Defense awarded a $77.2 million contract to the University of Hawaii Applied Research Laboratory. Blaze Lovell/CivilBeat

The lab has focused heavily on computer and drone research and is also working on the Wave Test Energy Site in Kaneohe Bay. The ARL is also working on approaches to disaster relief and humanitarian efforts, Edwards said in the press release.

The lab got a slow start initially, pulling in just $7.9 million in contracts in its first five years from 2008 to 2013.

Other university research centers affiliated with the Navy include labs at John Hopkins University and the University of Washington.

In March, UH was one of more than two dozen universities targeted by Chinese hackers, the Wall Street Journal reported. The report found that some of the ARL’s files were laced with malware.

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