U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Government Website

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Safely connect using HTTPS

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock () or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.


  1. Science and Technology Directorate
  2. News Room
  3. News Release: DHS Awards $200K for AI-Based Proof-of-Concept

News Release: DHS Awards $200K for AI-Based Object Recognition Proof-of-Concept

Release Date: November 4, 2019

S&T Public Affairs, 202-254-2385

WASHINGTON – The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) awarded $199,961.29 to Austin, Texas–based start-up Synthetik Applied Technologies, to develop a proof-of-concept for an artificial intelligence (AI)-based object recognition capability for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

“Synthetik’s solution proposes an advancement to three-dimensional (3D) object recognition that could greatly enhance security checkpoint operations,” said Melissa Oh, S&T’s Silicon Valley Innovation Program (SVIP) Managing Director. “We are excited to see Synthetik’s proof-of-concept—artificial intelligence has many applications to DHS use-cases that we have not yet fully explored.”

Synthetik received its award for a proposed capability using real-time voxel-wise instance segmentation to detect objects during property screening in airports. A voxel is a unit of measurement in a 3D image—a 3D pixel—and object segmentation is the problem of delineating each object of interest in an image. Voxel-wise instance segmentation uses AI to identify objects within a 3D image. Though most commonly used in medical imaging, Synthetik’s solution proposes to develop and train an AI model with the potential to automatically detect multiple objects at the same time during the property screening process at an airport, enhancing current human-based capabilities.

This is the first award under the SVIP’s Other Transaction Solicitation Object Recognition and Adaptive Algorithms for Aiport Passenger Property Screening – 70RSAT1800000024.

SVIP is one of S&T’s programs and tools to fund innovation and work with private sector partners to advance homeland security solutions. Companies participating in SVIP are eligible for up to $800,000 of non-dilutive funding to develop and adapt commercial technologies for homeland security use cases.

For more information on current and future SVIP solicitations, visit https://www.dhs.gov/science-and-technology/svip or contact dhs-silicon-valley@hq.dhs.gov. For more information about S&T’s innovation programs and tools, visit https://www.dhs.gov/science-and-technology/business-opportunities.


Last Updated: 04/10/2024
Was this page helpful?
This page was not helpful because the content