Over the summer, our Virtual Whole-of-Government R&D Showcase highlighted a depth of content with the greater research and development (R&D) community. Although our panels have concluded, I want to take a moment to recognize our partners, recap the major points we covered in this four-part series, and share some of my personal observations.
First, I’d like to say thank you to our panelists and their respective organizations for helping us tell a rich story about how today’s problems require a whole-of-government approach. We brought together nearly 30 partners to discuss how we are addressing tough challenges like COVID-19, climate change, emerging threats and how to move solutions to the marketplace. We couldn’t tell these stories fully without all of you.
Representatives from large government agencies, esteemed researchers, community leaders, local law enforcement, and global partners joined our S&T experts for 16 panel discussions to delve into work we have teamed up on for our nation and—in some cases—efforts that will pay dividends beyond our borders.
Each series shared unique perspectives from a variety of experts, and we had an exceptional lineup that resulted in many lively discussions. In Series 1: Enhancing Public Health Security and Resilience, we talked about how we are battling the current pandemic, preventing the next one and addressing other crises like the opioid epidemic in communities nationwide. In Series 2: Building Resilience and Innovation Equity, we focused our discussions on climate change and how to ensure solutions are rolled out equitably and with targeted needs in mind—so no community is left behind. Looking to the future, we talked about drones, the future of interoperability, cybersecurity and advances in air travel in Series 3: Mitigating Evolving Threats and Understanding the Convergence of Breakthrough Technologies. And finally, in Series 4: Building Whole-of-Government Partnerships we rounded out the showcase with our partners in academia, industry, in our laboratories and around the world.
Overall, this event was, and is, a testament to true partnership and shows that with joint efforts we can help bring solutions to communities and take a “people first” approach to the broader homeland security mission. As the showcase demonstrated, we—along with our partners—are connected, aligned in our goals, and enthusiastic to leverage each other’s capabilities to realize effective solutions. This is heartening to see, and I am honored to be a part of this community.
And as a leader in this community, I’d like to share a personal observation. Throughout these panel discussions, it became apparent that now is an exciting time for R&D. A time that offers many possibilities to help communities and deepen our understanding of how science, research and technology can make a difference. Recent crises have shown that the threat landscape will change in ways we may not expect. But through our partnerships we are well positioned to meet the moment. We at S&T look forward to continuing to share how we are unifying research to work for you.
Lastly, I’d also like to thank our viewers and followers—and remind you that this content will remain available through November 2021. There is a depth of content on our website for the showcase and beyond, and we encourage you to engage with us on social media @dhsscitech to stay up to date on what’s new in R&D.