The Center for Research and Education in Optics and Lasers (CREOL) at the University of Central Florida in Orlando is the recipient of US Department of Defense Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative awards. The center will lead the research on two awards and participate in two other initiatives. Investigators from the center and other institutions will study negative-index materials, high-power fiber lasers, ultrafast switching for optical imaging, and ultrafast laser interaction processes for laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy and other sensing technologies. The department’s program consists of 30 research grants to 20 universities, totaling about $13.5 million in fiscal year 2006 and about $30.2 million per year starting in fiscal 2007, for a total of $150.6 million over five years. It is designed to address research in 26 areas of basic science and engineering, representing opportunities for defense applications and technology options. The average award will be $1 million per year over a three-year period, with additional funding possible.