In contrast to many universities, which have chosen to accommodate applied R&D and special relationships with Federal agencies via arms-length non-profit organizations (e.g., Syracuse Research Corporation), a careful analysis has revealed that the most appropriate model for OU is a center, administered wholly within the academic fabric, similar in many respects to University Applied Research Centers (UARCs, e.g., at Penn State, Texas/Austin) though without the associated capabilities requirements and formal links to a cognizant agency. Consequently, CARD is being fashioned as a self-supporting interdisciplinary applied R&D center that, as an integral part of the University, fully supports OU’s educational, research and service missions.