Student assignments from the University of Wollongong were used as part of scheme to deceive the United States government into believing it was funding futurist thinking. Dr. Masoud Samandi says he went to work for a high-tech company in Arizona– Materials and Electrochemical Research Corporation, and had false claims submitted to win research grants from the US Department of energy as well as from NASA. In order to obtain a particular grant, Samandi claimed he had built a sophisticated “filtered and arc deposition system–when the so-called system was only a photograph of a system he had created at the University of Wollongong in Australia and drew upon work done by university students.
The Justice Department claims some grants were given on the assumption a venture capital firm would be part of the grant process. Unfortunately, there was no such venture capital company named Southwest Investment Partners.
We inhabit a world in which an entire nation gladly goes to war over non-existent WMD so why should anyone be surprised if government agencies fund products that didn’t exist or regard the work of university students as equivalent to cutting-edge research? Welcome to the world of Bushmania when any nutty idea is viewed as brilliant.