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  1. Science and Technology Directorate
  2. News Room
  3. Building New Bridges

Building New Bridges

Release Date: January 29, 2024

The Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) and its counterparts from Finland commit to collaborate on shared research and development opportunities.

At S&T, we’re looking beyond the horizon to help the Department of Homeland Security anticipate potential challenges. It is our responsibility to examine how rapid changes in technology and environmental shifts will impact the nation’s security, as well as how these forces can be harnessed to support the Department’s mission needs in a time of growing uncertainty. Thankfully, we’re not alone in this effort—our international partners share our concerns and are working hard to understand potential future threats and opportunities.

This week, I’m proud to sign the first official agreement between S&T and Finland through a new Joint Statement of Intent. The agreement will enable S&T and our counterparts at Finland’s Ministry of the Interior (MOI) to officially exchange information leading to collaboration on research, development, testing, and evaluation activities that address our shared science and technology challenges. The agreement follows a year of relationship building, which kicked off in January 2023 with a visit of MOI’s Permanent Secretary to Washington, DC, and was followed by S&T representatives traveling to Helsinki last fall, where we discussed shared organizational and strategic interests, charting a path to future science and technology cooperation. 

Under Secretary Kusnezov and Ambassador Hautala of Finland at the January 29 signing sitting in a room around a table having a discussion.
Under Secretary Kusnezov and Ambassador Hautala of Finland at the January 29 signing, which marks a historic milestone in our nations’ collaborative science and technology efforts. Photo credit: S&T.

Finland is a key partner for the United States on several important issues, and S&T is committed to strengthening this relationship to address critical homeland security needs, building on the U.S.-Finland science cooperation led by the State Department and Ambassador Hickey. The United States and Finland share many homeland security needs, such as emergency management resilience to the impacts of climate change and anticipating emerging threats. These issues already have impacts that span borders, so sharing information and identifying new opportunities for collaboration are essential to preparing for future challenges.

The challenges ahead are bigger than any one nation can tackle on its own. We’ve already seen how new technologies are empowering our adversaries in unprecedented ways, giving individuals the ability to target entire systems or networks, not just a single geographic point. S&T is working with partners across the world in government, academia, industry, and nonprofit sectors to develop new capabilities that enable homeland security officials and first responders to conduct their critical work more effectively.

I’m heartened by the progress we’re making through the new Joint Statement of Intent, and I want to extend my sincere thanks to Ambassador Hautala, Permanent Secretary Pimiä, and the entire Finnish delegation for their work in bringing our nations that much closer together. The road ahead is long, but we’re prepared to walk it with our partners and find new shared opportunities to strengthen our collective capabilities.

Last Updated: 01/29/2024
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