WASHINGTON – Technology innovators are invited to an industry Stakeholder Summit, August 9 in Washington, DC, to learn about the highest priority needs of more than 7.5 million first responders in the global market. Hosted by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T), a founding member of the International Forum to Advance First Responder Innovation (IFAFRI), the summit will be held 8:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the National Association of Home Builders, 1201 15th Street NW, Washington, DC.
“First responders around the world are called upon to respond to similar incidents and have common needs for innovative, affordable technologies,” said William N. Bryan, DHS Senior Official Performing the Duties of Under Secretary for Science and Technology. “S&T launched IFAFRI in 2014 to coordinate an effort to ensure responders worldwide have access to technologies that meet common needs.”
Currently chaired by the European Commission, IFAFRI is an organization of government leaders from 13 nations, including the United States, European Commission, Australia, Canada, Finland, Germany, Israel, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom, focused on enhancing and expanding the development of first responders technologies. IFAFRI is governed by three working committees: the Stakeholder Engagement Committee (led by the United States), the Capability Gaps Committee (led by Sweden), and the Research and Development Committee (led by the United Kingdom).
This Stakeholder Summit is the second in a series of planned regional summits. The first, held in the United Kingdom earlier this year, was geared towards reaching out to the European first responder industrial base.
At the industry Stakeholder Summit, industry, academia and other technology developers will learn about the operational requirements for each of the capability gaps, as determined by international first responders. Industry and academia will also have the opportunity to discuss technologies that may address these needs.
The current priority capability gaps that have been identified by first responders include:
- The ability to know the location of responders and their proximity to risks and hazards in real time.
- The ability to detect, monitor, and analyze passive and active threats and hazard at incident scenes in real time.
- The ability to rapidly identify hazardous agents and contaminants.
- The ability to incorporate information from multiple and non-traditional sources (e.g., crowd-sourcing and social media) into incident command operations.
“The primary goal of IFAFRI is to have industry develop technologies around the four common global capability gaps,” said King “Phil” Waters, DHS S&T program manager. “Through this project, determining what and how to invest should be simpler and more cost-effective for industry, as we’ve worked together on a global level to present a full scope of need.”