I am honored to present the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate’s (S&T) 2021 Strategic Plan—a guiding document that is very much indicative of how we’ve both changed and evolved at S&T since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. In response to this global event, our role as the science advisor and research and development arm for DHS called us to immediately mobilize a team of experts at our labs, in our programs and across our partner network to spring into action.
The lasting and devastating effects of the pandemic have now called us to adapt to meet current and emerging needs. In developing this plan, we answer this call. It lays a path for more than our own research and development; it speaks to our leading technical expertise; forging vital partnerships; ensuring excellence in programs; and maintaining a strong, well-prepared workforce. This plan is our commitment to advance and protect our future by cultivating scientific discovery in the service of national security.
This is both a challenge and a pursuit, as with great inventiveness comes advancements and rich tools, but also the potential for grave threats to our nation. For example, widespread access to information through cyberspace, artificial intelligence, robotics, nanotechnology, biotechnology, and quantum computing each stand to benefit society. Unfortunately, those who wish us harm can also use these things against us.
Challenges such as this require a world-class science infrastructure that S&T and its broader network can provide. Furthermore, the directorate’s expertise in technology advancement in today’s threat landscape uniquely positions us to lead research and development efforts that will help meet the DHS mission in our components and in communities across the country. S&T will achieve this through four main goals:
- Leadership – Become the driving force of innovation for DHS.
- Partnership – Engage in deliberate relationships with science, engineering and technology communities to equip DHS for success.
- Capability Delivery – Become the authority for and trusted provider of science and technology expertise and solutions.
- Tomorrow’s Workforce, Today – Advance the S&T team to assume leadership, develop partnerships and deliver solutions to DHS.
We know our success depends on talented teams working across multiple sectors, with access to the right expertise, funding, infrastructure, data, and connections—locally, nationally, and internationally—to get results. And we will leverage our interconnected network of world-class researchers and broad innovation ecosystem. In fact, we’re already getting started. Our COVID-19 response and supporting efforts with partners are shaping the road to recovery for our nation. And we’re committed to this approach across our research portfolios.
From our vision for success to the core values that guide every process, this strategic plan paves the way for the research, the science, the innovation, and the resulting technology to secure the America of our future. I encourage you—our component and intergovernmental colleagues, our industry partners, and the public we serve—to read this plan and engage with us on how we can achieve a safer tomorrow together.
Looking for a deeper dive into the S&T 2021 Strategic Plan? Contact us on social media @DHSSciTech on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn with your questions.