At the Science and Technology Directorate (S&T), even the most usual of opportunities can be something quite special. Tonight, I will log onto my computer and travel into the future. Well, sort of.
I have the pleasure of being invited by our bilateral partners at the Home Team Science and Technology Agency (HTX) in Singapore to participate on a panel at their TechX Summit, an event that brings together experts from across the globe to talk and learn about the latest technology innovations. Our panel will speak to Homeland Security Challenges & Technology Game Changers for Tomorrow; for me, it’ll be Monday night, for the other participants, it’ll be Tuesday morning. For all of us, it’ll be an important opportunity—albeit mostly virtually—to exchange knowledge, best practices and lessons learned.
Our partners at HTX serve as a great example of how government agencies can spark innovation and engage with and lead industry to address some of our most pressing homeland security challenges. Together, our research, development, and innovation (RD&I) planning must be informed with an eye to the future, a common understanding of emerging threats, and a commitment to advancing and deploying technologies for the greater global good.
It is a small world, after all, and I very much believe that our technology and security community is entering a period unlike any before in our lifetime. Our shared experiences, especially over the last two years, have crystalized how inherent security is to protecting public health, the worldwide economy, cybersecurity, our climate, and more. As I plan to remark this evening: these threats do not affect one nation alone. The struggles one country endures can rapidly cross borders and ultimately affect us all.
We will not be defined by these threats; rather, we will rise to the occasion by leveraging investments in science and technology, the results of which will enable us to protect our way of life and keep our countries moving forward.
We manage many international agreements at S&T. It is essential that our partners understand how the escalation of emergent threats and the convergence of advanced technologies inform everything we do…so that if a nation’s infrastructure or lifeline services are cut off in an instant, or if channels of disinformation spread like wildfire—or, if a real wildfire places first responders and citizens in harm’s way—we are all collectively prepared to spring into action.
We will continue to cultivate our trusted partnerships to better support homeland security operational missions and enable critical science and technology capacity for whatever “what if” scenarios arise.
Thank you to HTX for inviting me to join you and our distinguished colleagues from Australia, France, and Singapore at the TechX Summit in a few hours. From where I stand, the future looks very bright indeed.