You may have seen the breaking news that Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) is standing up a new Center of Excellence (COE)—if you haven’t, what are you waiting for? These Centers are hubs of innovation, harnessing the collective brain power of our universities and labs to develop cutting-edge training and tools that will keep us, our infrastructure, our world safe. They are vital to our homeland security and to our Department of Homeland Security, shaping the next generation of humans and technologies deployed to combat any and all threats we face.
And where better to combat the global threat of terrorism than right in America’s heartland? We couldn’t be more excited to introduce you all to the new National Counterterrorism, Innovation, Technology, and Education (NCITE) COE, formerly referred to as the Terrorism Prevention Counterterrorism Research COE, which will be housed at the University of Nebraska Omaha. The University will lead a consortium of academic, industry, government, and laboratory partners to embark on a number of counterterrorism programs, including efforts to prevent terror attacks by countering the radicalization of people and their mobilization to violence. In addition to conducting research studies and developing technology solutions, the COE will also train a skilled workforce in the latest methods to identify and protect the nation from terrorist threats.
Speaking of counterterrorism training…guess what? Announcing one new COE just wasn’t enough for S&T, so we’re doubling down and announcing another opportunity that is now open to the U.S. academic community. We are looking to fund a COE to develop and implement a Master of Business Administration (MBA) program focused specifically on training professionals to navigate the processes, regulations, and management principles related to transitioning homeland security technologies from federal research and development to operational use by practitioners on the front lines. Because at the end of the day, we want our federal, state, and local colleagues to have every resource at their fingertips as soon as possible.
University partners—this opportunity is hot off the presses, and if you have what it takes, the Request for Proposal is live now. The deadline for submitting a Phase I proposal is Thursday, March 5; Phase II proposals should be submitted on or before Wednesday, March 26. We expect to name the official COE and the new MBA in in Security Technology Transition Program in September 2020.
I hope you will take some time to learn more about these new ‘excellent’ endeavors and do a deeper dive into the missions of all of the S&T COEs—from monitoring and securing the Arctic region to preventing explosive threats to detecting biohazards, and much, much more. For more about S&T’s overall work and partnerships with academia, check out our Office of University Programs.