This November, we’ve covered a variety of areas where S&T supports critical infrastructure sectors. Many of our projects throughout the year crosscut this mission area, and National Critical Infrastructure Month was an opportunity for us to have conversations about securing these sectors in the future.
In these past four weeks, we highlighted four areas where we are conducting research, operational experiments and, most importantly, putting technologies and solutions into action for the homeland security enterprise.
I want to close out the month with saying we don’t—and can’t—do this work alone. We rely on our partners, and we take great pride in our ability to convene industry, academia, DHS components, and state, local, and tribal communities around this mission.
My conversation in a recent Facebook Tech Talk with Chris Krebs, from NPPD, earlier this month solidified this point. Sitting side-by-side Mr. Krebs, who is the Department’s lead for critical infrastructure, we agreed that to effect meaningful change, we must partner—with each other, with industry and with those using the solutions we are both working to develop.
I also want to underscore that all of the projects we highlighted this past month are a result of valuable partnerships in communities, throughout DHS and with companies who want to play an important role in protecting the nation.
The Support Anti-Terrorism by Fostering Effective Technologies Act (SAFETY Act) program, for example, relies on our partners meeting security standards in order to ensure liabilities are reduced—a win-win for us and our partners when it comes to securing the Commercial Facilities Sector.
With our partners, we worked to bring the Emergency Services sector better uniforms that protect from several hazards fighting fires can bring and to provide virtual active shooter training to responders—for free. I can’t think of a group more deserving and more rewarding to partner with and develop technology for.
In the Surface Transportation Sector, we worked with transit authorities to understand how technology can help detect threats and identify and track perpetrators – from curb to platform of transit hubs.
We also put out a call for new partners— through our Hidden Signals Challenge that launched in mid-October and closes next week on December 4. We want to work with new partners who can help us use existing data to more quickly identify biothreats.
I hope our highlights this month have shown how we are making a difference, and the network of partners it takes to secure the homeland.
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