The Utah Research Institute has been awarded a $3.7 million contract to help develop a paperless spare parts production and reprocurement system for the U.S. Air Force.

The program, titled SPARES for Spare Parts Production and Reprocurement Support System, is a five-year effort to develop, test and install the sophisticated computer system. General Atomics is the main contractor with the Air Force Wright Research and Development Center, and the institute is a major subcontractor for the $11 million project."The SPARES project will enable us to procure spare parts that are very difficult to obtain at this time," said Maj. Gen. Dale W. Thompson Jr., Commander of Ogden Air Logistics Center, Hill Air Force Base, in a press conference Thursday in the governor's office.

For its part in the project, Utah Research Institute proposed the "parts on demand system" to enhance the Landing Gear Division of Ogden Air Logistic Center to quickly manufacture small numbers of specialized parts.

The Utah Department of Community and Economic Development established the research institute in 1986 as a Center of Excellence in engineering and manufacturing technologies. It is a consortium of Utah State University, the University of Utah, Brigham Young University and Weber State College.