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In-Q-Tel Engagement

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) is committed to providing the best scientific, R&D, and test and evaluation support to find innovative and cutting-edge technology for our Department of Homeland Security (DHS) partners. One such resource is DHS’s work with In-Q-Tel (IQT). IQT is the independent, non-profit strategic investor for the CIA and the broader U.S. Intelligence Community—including DHS.

S&T joined the IQT model as a full member in 2009 and collaborates with DHS partners to source cutting-edge technology and provide insights on emerging technology, market trends, and global competitiveness

Providing Cutting-Edge Technology for DHS

Created over twenty years ago, IQT helps the federal government counter the mounting issue of declining government R&D budgets and take advantage of the growing private-sector spending and emerging technology developments by startup companies. The government needed to tap into the emerging technology stream, and IQT was founded to understand and identify technology in the startup and venture capital community that could help the federal government.

Keeping a Pulse on Innovation

At a time when technological progress is moving at an exponential rate, IQT helps DHS bridge the gap between the challenging technology needs of the nation’s security, the rapidly changing innovation of the startup world, and the venture capital community that funds those startups.

IQT sources emerging commercial technology from venture-backed startup companies that can be further adapted to fit homeland security use. IQT does this by providing DHS with analysis of startup companies and emerging technology, aligns it to the DHS requirements, and works with DHS to develop that technology to work within the DHS operational setting. IQT’s analysis of startup companies helps DHS better understand emerging technology trends and provides insights into investment trends. IQT’s market intelligence helps S&T and its DHS partners understand the startup market. IQT focuses on 15,000+ early-stage venture-backed startup companies and analyzes technologies in all stages of development that are critical to national security. On average, IQT evaluates technology from more than 2,000 startup companies annually. DHS benefits from IQT’s market intelligence of emerging technology, global competitive analysis of how the U.S. ranks in next generation technology, and expertise in technology areas such as artificial intelligence (AI) and cybersecurity. DHS works with IQT in key emerging technology areas of interest to DHS including AI, data analytics, trusted infrastructure, autonomous systems, cybersecurity, robotics, and communications.

In addition, IQT recently announced a new effort, IQT Emerge, focused on commercializing technology innovation from U.S. government-funded R&D initiatives to support the mission needs of the U.S. national security community. And lastly, IQT Labs helps DHS explore over the horizon research in such areas as biotech and cybersecurity.

Throughout its partnership with IQT, DHS has fielded and used over 55 technologies in homeland security operations.  

Insights and News

With a wide network of experts and connections to some of the world’s most innovative thinkers, IQT has a number of resources on their website to help you keep a pulse on innovative technology. Visit the IQT website to access their market reports, blogs, podcasts, and news articles that feature insights into some of today’s critical emerging technology areas.

Do You Want to Work with IQT?

For more on IQT, including information for startup companies interested in submitting a business plan to IQT, visit https://www.iqt.org.

For more information on S&T’s engagement with IQT, contact SandT.Innovation@hq.dhs.gov.

Last Updated: 01/12/2023
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