Every day, someone has a new invention or idea, and our technological footprint grows limitlessly. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) works hard to keep in stride with this technological curve and ensure that our frontline employees are performing their duties safely and efficiently.
On April 29, 2016, DHS Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) and U.S. Custom and Border Protection (CBP) will host a Homeland Security Day where technology startups and investors will learn about CBP’s mission, the technologies they are using in their day-to-day operations, and the opportunities for startup companies to help advance CBP efforts in the future.
S&T created the Homeland Security Innovation Programs (HSIP) in late 2015 to generate innovation in hubs around the nation and the world to solve DHS’s most difficult challenges. The HSIP focuses on outreach to cultivate relationships with innovators and investors, and fund innovative startups to solve challenges shared by homeland security and commercial investors. The Silicon Valley Innovation Program (SVIP) was S&T’s first HSIP regional program.
“This engagement with innovators and startups in Silicon Valley is simply a first step in the life-cycle of research and development,” said Melissa Ho, SVIP Managing Director. “We encourage any company or individual anywhere that has good ideas to participate.”
CBP is looking to technology startups to provide solutions for officers and agents in the field encountering a vast array of challenges through Homeland Security Day, which will introduce the technology industry to a “day in the life” of a field agent and help these companies understand the cutting-edge solutions that CBP requires.
The HSIP is focused on cultivating relationships with technology professionals through events like this, and funds early-stage commercial solutions with a homeland security application. This accelerates the transition of leading-edge technology into use by DHS and other users within the Homeland Security Enterprise.
“As we familiarize tech innovators with the Department’s pain points, we’re asking these out-of-the-box thinkers to engage with us,” said Ho. “We’re asking them to help us solve some of our toughest problems.”
The Homeland Security Day is one example of how the S&T is developing partnerships with investors and tech startups. S&T looks to the many innovation hubs for creative solutions to critical sectors, including information technology, finance, energy, health, and emergency.
For more information on the S&T’s HSIP, visit https://www.dhs.gov/science-and-technology/hsip.