When I started here, one of my biggest goals was making further inroads with industry and growing our business audience. We’ve made progress, but we want to do more.
That’s why we’re holding a Facebook Town Hall, “Doing Business with S&T: Improving Industry Partnerships” on Tuesday, September 27. I encourage industry—large, small or startup—to join us, and here’s why.
We need your help, communities across the country need your help, our nation needs your help. Threats against our homeland continue to evolve, and the demand for technological solutions is greater than ever. We know the key to bringing the solutions to front line operators will depend heavily on partnerships between the public and private sectors—this includes traditional and non-traditional industry partners.
We are beginning to tap into this audience with new programs. S&T’s Silicon Valley Innovation Program cultivates private sector relationships and funds innovative startups to solve challenges shared by homeland security and commercial investors. We’ve also expanded our engagement with industry to work with accelerators and to offer prize competitions for one-off challenges. Our second EMERGE program is underway, following a successful pilot last year, and we have completed three prize competitions since the start of the DHS InnoPrize program in 2015. We also continue to call for concepts through our Long-range Broad Agency Agreement and Small Business Innovation Research program portals.
I mentioned we want to do more. That’s where you come in. We need your help to understand what more we can do. On September 27, we want to talk about how we plan to expand our engagement with industry.
We want to know how best to reach industry—is it through social media, conferences, or our website? We are interested in creating an innovation community that could benefit the government and industry. For example, we want to continue holding industry days to have discussions about our needs and to share more about our programs and upcoming opportunities. In that same vein, we want to hear from industry—have them pitch their ideas and prototypes to us.
The success of industry in commercializing technology relates directly to our success in delivering better technology to the homeland security enterprise. We hope you’ll join our Facebook Town Hall next Tuesday to tell us what more we can do! Follow us today on Facebook, Twitter, and Periscope.