Since the beginning of this year, we have been conducting the National Conversation on Homeland Security Technology – an S&T stakeholder engagement tool intended to foster exchange on homeland security solutions and research and development. The first dialogue launched as part of this program focused on The Responder of the Future – one of our Visionary Goals. It was designed to solicit feedback on multiple issues described in Project Responder 4: 2014 National Technology Plan for Emergency Response to Catastrophic Incidents (PR4).
The Responder of the Future Dialogue took place both virtually – through the S&T Collaboration Community – and in person at town hall meetings in Maryland, Texas, and Nevada. A variety of stakeholders participated, including an array of public sector officials, industry professionals, and private citizens.
Participants in the Responder of the Future Dialogue shared more than 50 resources (including guidance and training materials, articles, studies, white papers, videos, and presentations), discussed emerging technologies developed by both S&T and the private sector, and shared referrals to subject matter experts and innovators in the field.
Multiple topics received high levels of engagement, but four were talked about more than any others:
- Wearables for Responder Situational Awareness, Decision Making, and Health Monitoring
- Use of Drones for Situational Awareness, Communications, and Response
- Use of Illuminated Identifiers for Search and Rescue
- Use of Sensor Technology to Provide Situational Awareness, Protect Responders, and Protect the Public
Ideas and innovative solutions discussed in the Responder of the Future Dialogue will help shape forthcoming S&T activities, including the Next Generation First Responder APEX program and other related projects, pilots, and activities. Summaries of the topics already discussed have been shared with decision makers at S&T.
To me, the most compelling success of the dialogue is the discussions and exchanges that have taken place between operational users of technology and the innovators themselves. This success is mirrored in the six other dialogues taking place as part of the National Conversation. The other dialogues cover a range of topics related to homeland security technology: Enable the Decision Maker, Screening at Speed, A Trusted Cyber Future, Transforming Airport Borders, Bio/Agro Security Innovation, and Resilient Communities. Visit the S&T Collaboration Community today to see these discussions first hand and become part of the conversation!
Today, the S&T Collaboration Community is composed of over 2,600 users—I urge to you join this group to make a difference and be a part of revolutionizing R&D!