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  1. Science and Technology Directorate
  2. News Room
  3. S&T Seeks Innovations to Target Illegal Cargo in the Fight Against Illicit Fentanyl

News Release: DHS S&T Seeks Innovations to Target Illegal Cargo in the Fight Against Illicit Fentanyl

Release Date: October 19, 2023

S&T Public Affairs, 202-254-2385

WASHINGTON - The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) issued a Request for Information (RFI) seeking innovative approaches to effectively target illegal cargo while expediting the delivery of legitimate cargo. S&T is interested in both inbound and outbound cargo, as well as supply chains and trade routes that may include raw materials, manufacturing machinery or finished fentanyl. The information collected through this RFI will guide strategic program planning to determine where S&T investments can most effectively disrupt the fentanyl supply chain.

"Researching and developing new technologies to disrupt the flow of illicit fentanyl, including its precursor chemicals, analogues, manufacturing components and illicit financial gains is a Department of Homeland Security priority,” said Joseph Martin, Executive Director, S&T’s Office of Mission & Capability Support. “The Directorate wants to collaborate with industry to explore innovative approaches and technology applications to curb the production, distribution, transportation, and proceeds of this illegal enterprise run by transnational criminal organizations.”

In an unprecedented milestone in our nation’s history, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports drug overdoses claimed the lives (PDF, 51 pgs., 811 KB) of more than 100,000 Americans in a single year, with more than two-thirds of cases linked to synthetic opioids such as fentanyl. Given the lethal threat posed by fentanyl, its analogues, and other synthetic opioids, innovative strategies are imperative to bolster government initiatives aimed at disrupting the illicit opioid supply chain and its associated networks. To address the ever-evolving operational landscape, S&T is seeking proposals for novel methods to obstruct the trafficking of illegal materials. Exemplary topics of interest include:

  • Non-intrusive inspection (new methods/technologies, algorithms)
  • Advanced analytics for targeting, investigation, or information sharing
  • Advanced analytics for network illumination and disruption
  • International cooperation

The purpose of this RFI is for S&T to collate information on past, current, and future research and development (R&D) efforts that address disruption of illicit cargo and the related topic areas. 

For more information on the RFI, which closes at 5:00 PM ET on Friday, November 17, 2023, visit SAM.gov.

For more information on the S&T’s opioid/fentanyl program, visit https://www.dhs.gov/science-and-technology/opioid-fentanyl-detection.


Last Updated: 10/19/2023
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