Our international partners—including foreign governments, major multilateral organizations, and global businesses—provide some of the most valuable assets to solve homeland security challenges. That’s why we have executed 13 agreements for research collaborations with individual countries and the European Commission.
We recognize threats that develop overseas -- like liquid explosives, shoe bombs, underwear bombs, and printer toner cartridge bombs -- can land on our doorstep. Furthermore, in 2015 we saw an increase in the pace of challenges to the international community in detecting and protecting civilians against terrorist attacks. Several coordinated attacks around the world brought into sharp focus the importance of our connection to our allies and how a strike against one freedom-loving nation is a strike against all.
To help prevent such attacks, we engage our partners to share information and improve technological and operational approaches for detecting threats. We also work together to strengthen the security of global trade and travel networks upon which the nation's economy and communities rely.
Last November, United Kingdom (UK) Home Office Chief Scientific Advisor and I co-chaired the U.S. – UK Bilateral Meeting in London. The program highlighted benefits coming from ongoing jointly-funded projects and allowed for the opportunity to discuss and develop new efforts for 2016. As our UK counterparts pointed out, joint activities directly impact homeland security missions as we progress from information sharing, to projects, to jointly executed programs and trials.
These partnerships also align us with Presidential and Congressional priorities to take advantage of leading research to protect us at home and to save taxpayers’ dollars through cooperative activities. S&T currently oversees approximately 100 international cooperative activities, representing tens of millions in combined U.S. and foreign funding over the last three fiscal years.
In addition to S&T’s cooperative activities, other DHS components use our international agreements to support operational technology pilots, software code enhancements, and staff exchanges. For example, DHS uses our agreement with Canada to help implement the presidential-level Beyond the Border strategy.
DHS has made international partnerships central to strengthening security at home – and S&T’s cooperative agreements are a key enabler for many of them. To learn more, please visit the International Cooperative Programs Office site.