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  1. Science and Technology Directorate
  2. News Room
  3. DHS SBIR Seeks Solutions to Detect Survivors in a Building Collapse

News Release: DHS SBIR Seeks Solutions to Detect Survivors in a Building Collapse

Release Date: February 7, 2022

S&T Public Affairs, 202-254-2385

WASHINGTON – The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program is seeking information on technologies that can detect trapped survivors in collapsed buildings and voids. The DHS SBIR Program, administered by the DHS Science and Technology Directorate (S&T), issued an Other Agency Technology Solutions (OATS) Request for Information (RFI) today. Eligible submissions must leverage previous SBIR or Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Phase I, Phase II or Phase III awards from a federal agency.

“The need for new and improved search and rescue technologies suited for building collapse operations gained focus after the World Trade Center collapse,” said Fred Endrikat, chief of Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) National Urban Search & Rescue (US&R) Branch. “20 years later, the need for first responders to accurately and non-invasively find survivors, essentially to “see” through walls, smoke, debris, and obstacles, was reaffirmed after the Champlain Tower building collapse in Surfside, Florida.”

The DHS SBIR Program is partnering with FEMA to develop new subterranean remote search technologies for its US&R. FEMA’s US&R System organizes federal, state, and local partner emergency response teams as integrated federal disaster response task forces, which deploy to disaster areas. The teams use planned resources to find, rescue and treat victims trapped in collapsed structures and conduct life-saving operations. Potential solutions could be transitioned or commercialized to add to FEMA’s standardized list of equipment for the US&R Task Forces or added to FEMA’s Authorized Equipment List (AEL), a list of FEMA-approved equipment types for which first responders utilizing grant funding and FEMA’s AEL would be primary customers.

“An SBIR OATS RFI is a unique way for the government to explore research initiated by another federal agency through a previous SBIR or Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) award,” said Dusty Lang, DHS SBIR program director. “With the breadth of technologies developed through the SBIR Program, we can leverage the time and funding already invested to help address this vital need for our DHS partner.”

Interested companies with applicable SBIR or STTR technologies can visit the OATS RFI on SAM.gov for submission requirements. The deadline for white papers is March 16, 2022, 11:59 pm ET.

To prepare, submitters can register for the Deconstructing SBIR: Detecting Trapped Survivors webinar on February 15, 2022, from 2-3 p.m. ET. During this live webinar, attendees will hear from the DHS SBIR director and FEMA representatives about the topic needs and how technologies developed through SBIR support this RFI.

For more information about the DHS SBIR program, the Deconstructing SBIR webinar series offers a snapshot and highlights opportunities for small businesses to work with DHS.

Join the mailing list to keep up to date on the latest news at: https://oip.dhs.gov/sbir/public.


Last Updated: 02/07/2022
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