At S&T, our 10 Centers of Excellence (COEs) often help us in solving important homeland security issues—from explosives detection to food supply chain defense. This extended consortium of hundreds of universities conducts groundbreaking research with the guidance of S&T’s Office of University Programs and working closely with the homeland security community. Together they develop customer-driven, innovative tools and technologies to solve real-world challenges.
Today, we are holding a showcase to highlight one of the newest centers, the Borders, Trade and Immigration (BTI) Institute. Although new, I’m confident they can make a difference in supporting one of our core mission areas of securing the border.
Here’s why. BTI’s key thrust areas and our current work with officers and agents who have border and immigration operations experience convenes a valuable meeting of the minds. Their focus on transnational flows of people and goods and homeland security enterprise education and professional development speaks to larger needs to secure our border in the 21st century, and ones that we have identified in our visionary goals.
More specifically, take our Screening at Speed visionary goal, where we strive to have “security that matches the pace of life” through noninvasive screening so that officers can effectively screen people, baggage, and cargo with minimal impact to the pace of travel and commerce. Similarly, BTI is focusing on Ports of the Future, which focuses on the improvement of processing times and operational efficiency of screening cargo. This addresses a specific mission requirement for U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to scan 100 percent of the nation’s inbound cargo.
Given these common threads in our work, my vision is that the Institute will help us solve the most pressing border security and immigration challenges—because the law enforcement community needs our support.
CBP, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and state, local and tribal police forces look to us to help them with next generation technology. Upholding laws at the community and federal level can be a tough job. I believe—like our academic partners at BTI do—that we can help.
Today’s Showcase is a testament to the teamwork that will help us face the border security, legitimate trade and travel and immigration challenges of the future. I look forward to S&T’s relationship with this newest center. For more information on BTI’s showcase, please visit: http://www.uh.edu/bti/news/events/2017/march/ribbon-cutting/.