Each year, many of us catch the holiday spirit as we break out our wreaths, ornaments, menorahs, and other festive decor. We give thanks, we bake, we wrap gifts, we watch classic holiday movies, and we come together to support our communities. But this year, I’m excited about more than just the holidays (though I do enjoy a good movie). We have an amazing opportunity to partner with small businesses to support our community, harnessing their innovation and agility to advance homeland security capabilities at a time when so many of them have been hit hard by the pandemic.
That’s right, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) 21.1 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program solicitation is open! I’m continuously inspired by the ingenuity and passion of our small business partners—and I’m certain this year will be no different. Funding opportunities are available in 11 topic areas, and if you are considering applying, here are a few things you should know:
Who can apply? If you are a small business, women-owned small business, or disadvantaged small business, we encourage you to participate!
What are the topics? The 11 topics we released this year address pandemic, virus and infectious disease response (now and in the future), securing our transportation systems and cyber networks, and empowering our front line with advanced tools. These topics tie directly to the needs of the Department and the greater homeland security enterprise—the communities across the country that are relying on innovative solutions to navigate everyday challenges.
The DHS topics are:
- DHS211-001 - Non-Invasive “Breathalyzer” Detection System to Screen for Presence of Viral Respiratory Infections
- DHS211-002 - 5G & Wifi6 Coexistence for Secure Federal Networks
- DHS211-003 - Improved Curved Transparent Ceramic Structural Components
- DHS211-004 - Vehicle Infectious Diseases Protection
- DHS211-005 - Amphibious XTV for Ice Rescue
- DHS211-006 - Artificial Intelligence to Augment the 911 Telecommunicator Function
- DHS211-007 - Software Supply Chain Identification for Compiled Binary Executables
- DHS211-008 - Intelligent Document Design: Combating Industry Trends that Incentivize Weak Security
- DHS211-009 - High Throughput Non-Ionizing Screening Capability for Identifying Contraband
- DHS211-010 - Screening Sensor Technology as part of Passenger Checked Luggage
- DHS211-011 - Fieldable multiplex detection of Biothreats
Are you new here? If you haven’t worked with us before, not to worry. SBIR is a great opportunity for small businesses with no prior federal contracting experience or knowledge. Even if your business is small, we need your BIG ideas. Check out our SBIR Success Stories to read about other companies that have applied to previous solicitations and made lasting impacts. To view our Deconstructing SBIR webinars that include useful information for the DHS SBIR program and the 21.1 Solicitation, check out our playlist on the S&T YouTube channel.
What other opportunities does S&T have available? To learn about the many ways you can work with us, visit our Work with S&T page. You may not know this, but many of our funding programs are open to small business and engage them specifically.
Don’t miss this opportunity—and others—to work with us and drive innovation for the security and health of our nation. We welcome proposals on these topics through January 15 at 1 PM ET (so you definitely still have time to watch some holiday movies, too). You can learn more about key dates, the above topics, submission requirements and tips on our SBIR portal.