For more than a decade, S&T has dedicated itself to finding new and better ways to protect our nation, and to me, there is no truer path to innovation than invention Last week, the Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas and I were honored to recognize those who have spurred innovation through invention.
At our first Patent Awards Ceremony, Deputy Secretary Mayorkas and I celebrated a significant part of our progress in the form of 12 patented inventions developed by inventors from 32 DHS and other government agencies. These were individuals throughout DHS who saw a need and developed a solution that could be applied unilaterally.
The impact of their work has been tremendous. For example, the Adenoviral Vector Based Foot-and-Mouth Disease Vaccine from the Plum Island Animal Disease Center is the most significant accomplishment in its field in 50 years! The development of this vaccine means that we are protecting the agricultural industry and our food supply from a significant threat.
Two teams from the U.S. Coast Guard academy developed simple, yet vital solutions, to help their air and sea missions. A flare tube adapter that ensures officers can light their path on any plane at a moment’s notice, making a lifesaving difference on search and rescue missions. Their buoy split key removal device keeps buoy tender crewmembers safe in the water.
At two of our S&T labs—the Transportation Security Lab and the National Urban Security Technology Laboratory—inventors have developed improved detection and screening capabilities for a range of substances from threat liquids and explosives to radiation. These technologies are more accurate, yet non-invasive—smaller and easier to use for our workforce.
Simply put, these inventions are pivotal to our mission to protect our nation, and I couldn’t be prouder or more inspired.
Being at the hub of innovation for the department, it amazes me how far our reach can be with new technologies. We serve our federal, state and local officers and agents on the front lines; our agricultural industry; and millions of travelers and industry that use our ports and borders. While we know our work is never done, these inventors have shown we are constantly developing new ways to counter threats—quicker, more accurately, and with the least disruption to our way of life.
It is with deep appreciation and gratitude that we thanked our inventors yesterday. Once again, I am saying “thank you” for their contributions that continue to inspire me to push our vital work forward. I can’t wait to see what future patents we see within the department.
Dr. Reginald Brothers
Under Secretary for Science and Technology