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Commercialization Accelerator Program (CAP)

Bridging the gap between federal scientific research and the marketplace requires a process specifically designed to accelerate technology maturity and create partnerships with private industry. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) established the Commercialization Accelerator Program (CAP) to address this need. Through CAP, DHS S&T is adapting and leveraging federally funded mission-relevant technologies to enhance the operational capabilities of DHS and Homeland Security Enterprise (HSE) end users.

CAP has three main goals:

  • Identify promising federally funded technologies that address an existing or imminent need that impacts the DHS mission.
  • Increase utilization of federally funded R&D to enhance HSE capabilities through partnerships, product development efforts, and commercialization.
  • Improve the long-term ability of federal government research organizations to more efficiently transfer HSE-relevant technologies. 

Do you have ground-breaking technology that can support DHS missions?

The Commercialization Accelerator Program (CAP) releases a Call for Proposals opportunity for personnel at federal laboratories, Federally Funded Research and Development Centers, and University Affiliated Research Centers. Please see the CAP Call for Proposals section below for more details.

CAP Icon: DHS S&T Commercialization Accelerator Program: FY22 Cap Call for Proposals: Federal Laboratories can receive up to $225K!: 23 Technology Topics: CAP's inaugural call for proposals: Submissions due March 28: DHS Science and Technology Seal

On March 29, 2022, the FY22 CAP Call for Proposals closed and CAP is unable to accept any additional proposals.

CAP released the FY22 Call for Proposals for innovative technology in support of DHS missions and homeland security end users. This opportunity was open to all personnel from federal laboratories, Federally Funded Research and Development Centers, and University Affiliated Research Centers.

Using a multi-phase process, CAP will select proposals based on the potential for refinement of further R&D, private sector adoption and government use, and significant progress towards technology transfer and commercialization.

Proposal Selection Process:

  • Phase 1: Detailed Proposal Submission
  • Phase 2: Virtual Pitch Presentation (Optional at the Government’s discretion)
  • Phase 3: Award

The proposed technologies should be regarded as technology readiness level (TRL) 3, at minimum; have an existing proof of concept or prototype; and must be relevant to one of the following topic areas:

  • Air Security
  • Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning
  • Baggage/Cargo/People Screening
  • Biometrics and Identity
  • Chem/Bio Detection, Preparation & Security
  • Community and Infrastructure Resilience
  • Communications (Voice, Video, and Data)
  • Contraband Detection
  • Critical Infrastructure
  • Cybersecurity
  • Detection Canine
  • Disaster Response
  • Explosives Threat Assessment
  • First Responder Capabilities
  • Forensics and Criminal Investigations
  • Immigration Services
  • Land Border Security
  • Maritime Security
  • Modeling & Simulation
  • Sensors & Platforms
  • Soft Target Crowded Places Security
  • Terrorism Prevention
  • Other Homeland Security Enterprise-relevant technology area

Technology transfer remains a difficult endeavor with many challenges. Only a small fraction of the scientific research performed in federal laboratories reaches the marketplace where it can have an impact. This problem is often a result of lack of partnerships between the government and the private sector, nonexistent funding and other resources to mature the technology, and inefficient processes to transfer technology out of the laboratory environment. By enabling the transfer of HSE mission-relevant technology, CAP supports the third goal in the S&T 2020- 2025 Strategic Plan to strengthen external partnerships that advance homeland security mission priorities.

Existing Technologies: Identify federally funded technologies relevant to the Homeland Security Enterprise. Advancing Technologies: Leverage Viable Technologies, Develop Prototypes, Test and Validate Technologies, and Conduct Technology Demonstrations and Commercialization Activities. Operational Utilization: Promote enhanced technology in the commercial marketplace for adoption by the Homeland Security Enterprise.

CAP collaborates with many sources to identify the most promising DHS mission-relevant federally funded technology that demonstrates commercialization promise. Selected technologies, depending on readiness, advance through a structured process designed to accelerate the path from lab to market that includes: training, market validation, testing and evaluation, pilot deployment, and outreach to potential partners, investors and integrators. CAP supports multiple paths for technology transfer, including licensing, start-up creation, open source, and government use.

CAP focuses on the maturation, acceleration, and transfer of federally funded technology relevant to the HSE from:

  • Department of Energy National Laboratories
  • Department of Defense Laboratories
  • Federally Funded Research and Development Centers (FFRDCs)
  • University Affiliated Research Centers (UARCs)
  • Other Federal Research Organizations

DHS Commercialization Accelerator Program at ST.CAP@hq.dhs.gov.

Last Updated: 01/26/2023
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