An Enduring Partnership
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) national laboratories share a common commitment: to prevent future attacks against the nation; respond to natural, accidental, and intentional disasters; and advance American prosperity and economic security. In that commitment, DHS and the DOE national laboratories partner to support the homeland security mission by providing streamlined access to world-class scientific and technological capabilities. The Office of National Laboratories, within the DHS Science and Technology Directorate (S&T), coordinates the Department’s use of the DOE national laboratories as Federally Funded Research and Development Centers (FFRDCs) and part of a networked system of lab capabilities that benefit DHS and the wider Homeland Security Enterprise.
DOE Lab Expertise in Easy Reach
DOE’s 17 national laboratories represent a world-class system for research that DHS routinely accesses to augment its own in-house national laboratory capabilities and fulfill strategic mission needs. The DOE national laboratories that are leveraged by DHS as FFRDCs are:
- Government-owned, contractor-operated.
- Aligned with the DHS mission.
- Keenly aware of and bring national laboratory capabilities to bear on DHS mission needs.
Congress recognized the valuable synergy between homeland security and the DOE national laboratories when creating DHS. As a result, the Homeland Security Act of 2002 authorized DHS to use any DOE national laboratory to help execute its mission. When partnering with DOE national laboratories, each DHS component enters into an interagency agreement with previously agreed to terms and conditions. See DHS and DOE National Laboratories fact sheet for more information.
Advancing Development, Testing and Evaluation
DHS components use DOE national laboratory scientific and technical expertise in diverse ways, spanning research, development, testing, and evaluation. Scientists and engineers provide key input to technical visioning and near- and long-term research agendas. This scientific expertise addresses both strategic and tactical needs facing DHS while preparing for the evolving technology and threat landscape.
This expertise also aids the assessment of emerging technologies and threats. For example, the DOE national laboratories actively engage across the cybersecurity community to address threats to national critical infrastructure.
Collaboration in Action
DHS faces vast technical challenges that require a community of academic, industrial, federal government, and national laboratory collaborators who have a detailed understanding of the mission, are flexible and responsive, and can self-organize. This collaboration fosters peer review and best-in-breed efforts and expands the ability to leverage federal, private, and international investments.
- News Release: DHS S&T Receives National Interagency Partnership Award
- New Release: DHS Wraps Up Jamming Exercise to Strengthen First Responder Communications
- Feature Article: Virtual Reality at the Los Angeles Long Beach Seaport