Every day, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) actively works to protect the American people from a range of threats, threats that many nations around the world also face.
As the research and development (R&D) arm of the Department, DHS Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) understands the importance of global cooperation and partners with our international counterparts to enhance homeland security capabilities. Currently, we have 13 international partnerships actively working to keep all nations’ critical infrastructure and economic interests secure.
Many of S&T’s business opportunities— including Prize Competitions and the Silicon Valley Innovation Program—are open to international participants, however there is one unique partnership opportunity S&T has with Israel. Through the Israel – U.S. Binational Industrial Research and Development (BIRD) Foundation’s Homeland Security (HLS) Program, S&T and Israel’s Ministry of Public Security (MOPS) are seeking proposals to support collaborative, innovative R&D between U.S. and Israeli companies, or between a company and a university or research institute—one from the U.S. and one from Israel.
S&T and MOPS have partnered on the BIRD HLS program since 2016, to seek solutions in first responder technology areas such as protective clothing, wearable technology, and situational awareness. The newest Call for Proposals includes six topics.
- Advanced first responder technologies
- Border protection, including maritime security
- Law enforcement-supporting technologies to combat cyber crime
- Technologies and methods to secure critical infrastructure and public facilities
- Safe and secure cities
- Unmanned aerial systems
Since 2009, S&T and MOPS have promoted cooperative R&D, test and evaluation activities, and shared information about science and technology advancements. The partnership has addressed homeland security challenges in the areas of first responder technologies, border and maritime security, and cybersecurity, to name a few. To date, we have partnered on 17 projects totaling more than $25 million. Looking forward, we plan to create new opportunities to strengthen each country’s resilience.
The BIRD Foundation accelerates cooperation between U.S. and Israeli companies in a wide-range of technology sectors. This fosters strategic partnerships between companies in both countries for the purpose of joint product development. In addition to providing conditional grants of up to $1 million for approved projects, the Foundation works with companies to identify potential strategic partners and facilitate introductions.
U.S. organizations, if you have an innovative solution for one of the HLS program areas, I encourage you to learn more and to apply. If you need assistance identifying an Israeli partner, BIRD will provide support. However, the April 3 deadline for submission of Executive Summaries is quickly approaching.
For a full description of the Call for Proposals and timeline, visit the BIRD Foundation website.