Raytheon Co. is recruiting industry and academic partners to help defeat improvised explosive devices (IED), which it said is the No. 1 killer of service members in Iraq and Afghanistan. Ideas for solutions can be submitted at http://www.raytheon.com/missions/rtn07_ied. It said proprietary safeguards protect submitted information against improper disclosure. Jack Costello, vice president of business development and strategic planning for Raytheon Network Centric Systems, said, "Coalition forces are still being affected on the battlefield, so we decided to exhaust every opportunity to find the best solutions. I hope industry accepts our challenge in this important endeavor." Raytheon formed an IED-Defeat Task Force to coordinate its efforts to help eliminate the threat posed by IEDs. According to icasualties.org, which maintains an Iraq coaltion casualty count, "an IED is a device placed or fabricated in an improvised manner incorporating destuctive, lethal, noxious, pyrotechnic, or incendiary chemicals and designed to destroy, incapacitate, harass, or distract. It may incorporate military stores, but is normally devised from nonmilitary components." From July 2003 to April 2008, it said, 1745 coaltion fatalities (among those, 1662 Americans) were caused by IEDs.