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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 not-for-profit strategic investor that government intelligence and defense communities have relied upon for nearly 25 years to anticipate their technology questions and needs, provide deep technological expertise, and make strategic investments to strengthen the security of the U.S. and its allies.

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 nearly 25 years ago, IQT helps the federal government counter the mounting issue of declining government R&D budgets and takes 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 is a prolific investor, identifying and matching emerging technology developed by startups to deliver new capabilities that can be further adapted to fit homeland security use. IQT does this by:

  • Providing DHS with analysis of startup companies and emerging technology.
  • Aligning technology to the DHS requirements
  • Working with DHS to develop that technology to work within the DHS operational setting

IQT’s work helps DHS better understand emerging technology trends and provides insight into market intelligence that helps S&T, and its DHS partners understand the startup market.

IQT has invested in more that 700 venture-backed startup companies and analyzes technologies in all stages of development that are critical to national security. Using its experts, IQT vets each potentially viable technology against DHS’ needs, considers the national security implications, compares alternatives, and rigorously evaluates technical claims. 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 Labs help DHS explore over the horizon research and development in the open source ecosystem.

Throughout its partnership with IQT, DHS has fielded and used over 50 technologies in homeland security operations.  

News & Resources

With a wide network of experts and connections to some of the world’s most innovative thinkers, IQT has several resources on their website to help you keep a pulse on innovative technology. Visit the IQT website to access insights into some of today's critical emerging technology areas, including:

More information on how DHS works with IQT

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

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

Last Updated: 06/14/2024
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