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  1. Science and Technology Directorate
  2. News Room
  3. S&T Seeks Solutions for Mitigating Threats to Soft Targets

News Release: DHS S&T Seeks Solutions for Mitigating Threats to Soft Targets

Release Date: March 16, 2022

S&T Public Affairs, 202-254-2385

WASHINGTONThe Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) announced a new solicitation to help mitigate threats toward soft targets and reduce attacks in crowded places. The Securing Soft Targets topic call is looking for cutting-edge solutions that can identify and mitigate new and emerging threats both in the United States and around the world.

“DHS has been invested in the protection of soft targets and vulnerable areas since its inception,” said Melissa Oh, managing director of S&T’s Silicon Valley Innovation Program (SVIP). “This solicitation expands DHS capabilities to maintain public safety by rapidly detecting threats in real time in places such as sports and entertainment venues, shopping complexes, schools, and transportation systems.”

The SVIP solicitation seeks technical capabilities needed to support DHS’s operational missions. Applications must focus on at least one of the following technical topic areas:

  1. Broad, Flexible, Anomaly Detection: The development of anomaly detection that is accurate, flexible, and sufficiently broad to cover the needs of a variety of soft target sites.
  2. Challenges from Occlusion, Lighting, and Distance: Implementation of video analytics systems with objective performance, while navigating the challenges presented by occlusion, lighting, and distance.
  3. Realtime Performance: Development of systems, composed of appropriate Application Specific Integrated Circuits (ASICs) and other components in innovative hardware architectures to serve as a platform for novel software algorithms, that offer real-time performance for a specific set of object identifications in a suite of video data, with accuracy increasing over time.

“It is impossible for first responders to be everywhere at all times,” said Ali Fadel, S&T Physical Security program manager. “S&T is therefore creating and supporting the development of tools that serve as force-multipliers. We’re assisting public safety personnel to keep Americans safe and enhance security in soft target venues and locations.”

Applicants have two opportunities to respond to the solicitation. The first deadline is on April 28, 2022, and the second deadline is on August 29, 2022, with submissions due at 12:00 p.m. PT on both dates.

Additionally, a virtual Industry Day is set for March 22, 2022, from 9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. PT to discuss the solicitation and operational needs. Visit S&T events to register.

About SVIP
SVIP is one of S&T’s programs and tools to fund innovation and collaborate with the private sector to advance homeland security solutions. Companies participating in this SVIP Topic Call are eligible for up to $1.7 million of non-dilutive funding over four phases 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/work-with-st.


Last Updated: 03/17/2022
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