A University of Maryland national security research laboratory received a new contract worth up to $500 million from the Department of Defense, this university announced Tuesday.

The contract with the Applied Research Laboratory for Intelligence and Security is the largest research contract in the university’s history, The Baltimore Banner reported. The deal is initially a one-year contract but can be extended for four more years, according to this university’s news release.

The laboratory, founded in 2018, is one of 15 Department of Defense University Affiliated Research Centers in the nation and the only one focusing on intelligence and security related research, according to the release.

Laboratory members research issues “where people, society, policy and technology intersect,” including topics that affect national defense and intelligence, according to the laboratory’s website. The group contains researchers from fields of study such as engineering, psychology, computer science, cybersecurity and artificial intelligence.

Milancy D. Harris, the acting defense under secretary for intelligence and security, said in the announcement that the laboratory’s research has a human-centered focus on solving security and intelligence challenges.

The laboratory is “intended as a long-term strategic asset for research and development in artificial intelligence, information engineering and human systems,” according to the university release.

In the Tuesday announcement, university president Darryll Pines called the laboratory a “jewel in the [university’s] research enterprise.”

“We are so grateful to continue this collaboration with the Department of Defense, which has already yielded so many opportunities for faculty and students,” Pines said in the release. “We’re excited to build upon ARLIS’ demonstrated success of combining technical expertise with human understanding to bolster our nation’s security.”