The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) Silicon Valley Innovation Program (SVIP) is keeping pace with the innovation community to tackle the hardest problems faced by DHS and the Homeland Security Enterprise. SVIP expands DHS S&T’s reach to find new technologies that strengthen national security with the goal of reshaping how government, entrepreneurs and industry work together to find cutting-edge solutions. Based in California’s Silicon Valley, the program reaches out to innovation communities across the nation and around the world to harness the commercial R&D ecosystem for technologies with government applications and to co-invest in and accelerate technology transition-to-market.
We offer U.S. and international start-ups up to $800K in non dilutive funding over 24 months to carry out prototype projects and possibly transition successful projects to production.
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Funding Mechanisms and Phases
SVIP utilizes the “Innovation Other Transaction Solicitation” (OTS) — HSHQDC-16-R-B0005 (refer to document titled: “SVIP OTS Amendment_1_29_2020.pdf”) to engage with organizations that do not usually work with the government in order to carry out prototype projects and possibly transition successful projects to production. This engagement is intended to assist new companies so they have more opportunities to work with DHS through targeted non-dilutive funding and provide opportunities for operational testing and market access. Through SVIP, DHS intends to incentivize product developers to open the aperture of their development roadmaps to include homeland security solutions.
For more details on eligibility, please read through the “How_To_Apply_and_FAQs for SVIP OTS 1_29_2020.pdf” document on “Innovation Other Transaction Solicitation” (OTS) — HSHQDC-16-R-B0005
Current Funding Opportunities
Prior to applying to a specific call, please review SVIP’s Innovation Other Transaction Solicitation (OTS) — HSHQDC-16-R-B0005. The OTS describes the overall program framework and eligibility criteria. Individual calls describing specific technical areas and use cases will be issued under the Innovation OTS in the future.
There are currently no funding opportunities.
Current Portfolio Companies
- Danube Tech (Vienna, Austria) will work on a Universal Issuer and Verifier project to integrate interoperability support for multiple credential data formats, blockchains, and standardized and open application programming interfaces into their existing decentralized identifier (DID) registrar. (Initial award September 2019) – Currently in Phase 2
- Digital Bazaar (Blacksburg, Virginia) proposes to build out its digital credentialing and blockchain application solution to create a viable credentialing product for large organizations with the long-term goal of bringing its customized solution to market. (Initial award November 2019) – Currently in Phase 2
- Mavennet Systems (Toronto, Canada) will apply the company’s expertise, gleaned from building a platform enabling real-time auditability of the natural gas trading markets in Canada to address CBP needs for cross-border oil import tracking. Mavennet’s solution will build a generic end-to-end platform that can be used for any type of commodity that includes automation and integrating application program interface, physical measurement and legacy system capabilities. (Initial award November 2019) – Currently in Phase 2
- SecureKey Technologies (Toronto, Canada) will adapt the concepts and code associated with its Verified.Me commercial strength identity network solution that offers availability, disaster recovery, fraud prevention, monitoring and other essential operational controls to support Transportation Security Administration and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services needs around the issuance and validation of identity documents for travel and employment authorization. (Initial award November 2019) – Currently in Phase 2
- Transmute Industries (Austin, Texas) will adapt Transmute ID, its core technology product that leverages centralized and decentralized identity infrastructures to secure individual agency identities and verifiable credentials to ensure that CBP has visibility into the provenance, traceability and regulatory compliance of raw material imports. (Initial award November 2019) – Currently in Phase 2
Blockchain & Distributed Ledger Technologies-Release 2
- MATTR (Auckland New Zealand): a woman-owned start-up is assisting USCIS to develop a capability to digitally issue and validate essential work and task licenses. (Initial Award September 2020) – Currently in Phase 1
- Mavennet (Toronto, Canada): will be supporting CBP by improving the traceability of natural gas. Mavennet proposes to enhance their Neoflow platform to digitally trace natural gas supply chains between Canada and the US. (Initial Award September 2020) – Currently in Phase 1
- Mesur IO (Chapel Hill, North Carolina): will be developing a capability to enhance CBP’s visibility of food supply chains. The project aims to improve food safety through the international supply chain by enhancing visibility from farm to point of purchase. (Initial Award September 2020) – Currently in Phase 1
- SecureKey (Toronto, Canada): will be developing an alternative identifier to the Social Security Number (SSN) to support PRIV’s SSN Collection and Use Reduction initiative. The project’s goal will be to implement a globally unique, meaningless, and verifiable identifier that will not divulge personally identifiable information or allow for cross tracking. (Initial Award September 2020) – Currently in Phase 1
- Spherity (Dortmund, Germany): will be developing a capability to enhance CBP’s supply chain traceability of direct-to-consumer e-commerce shipments.Spherity will adapt their core digital-twin binding technology to provide traceability of packages from internet purchase to consumer. (Initial Award September 2020) – Currently in Phase 1
Energy Harvesting Fabrics
Protect the Force (Boston, Massachusetts) is developing a photovoltaic fiber that can be woven into a fabric matrix for integration into first responder gear. (Initial award August 2018) – Currently in Phase 2
Enhancing CBP Airport Passenger Processing
- iProov (London, England) will develop a capability to allow travelers to quickly transit remote border ports of entry by optionally utilizing their personal devices to report their entry and exit to CBP with a secure, privacy focused mobile application. (Initial award April 2018) – Currently in Phase 3
- Kiana Analytics, Inc. (Sunnyvale, California) will develop a smartphone-based interview capability that includes the remote identity verification of travelers using a combination of biometric information and behavior/trend analysis from sensors available in remote ports of entry used by travelers. (Initial award February 2017) – Currently in Phase 3
Enhancements to the Global Travel Assessment System
- DataRobot Inc. (Boston, Massachusetts) will provide statistical and machine-learning models and a predictive/scoring engine that performs batch and real-time assessments in a fraction of the time it currently takes. (Initial award September 2017) – Currently in Phase 2
- Omniscience Corporation (Palo Alto, California) will build a fully functional model manager that will allow DHS and partner organizations to build models that can take in a high number of dimensions and significantly large data sets. (Initial award April 2017) – Currently in Phase 3
- Tamr (Cambridge, Massachusetts) will use their core human-guided, machine learning software to achieve schema mapping and entity resolution. (Initial award December 2016) – Currently in Phase 5
Financial Services Cyber Security Active Defense
- Cyber 20/20 (Newark, Delaware) will build TURACO, a next-generation sandbox, which uses machine learning to significantly extend Cuckoo, an open-source sandbox environment, and defend against anti-anti-sandbox malware. (Initial award June 2018) – Currently in Phase 1
- Def-Logix Inc. (San Antonio, Texas) will enhance its Entrap capability that provides malware detection, characterization and enhancement capabilities to enable the exchange of cyber threat indicators between the Federal Government and the private sector at machine speed. (Initial award December 2017) – Currently in Phase 1
- Heilig Defense, LLC (Arlington, Virginia) will develop the Memory Sentry solution, which provides runtime application protection against specific memory-safety vulnerabilities. Memory Sentry is a “pre-exploitation” protection tool that can disrupt an attacker’s ability to successfully exploit software vulnerabilities. (Initial award October 2017) – Currently in Phase 3
- Intafel (Cambridge, MA) will enhance their product Solitare, a slimmed-down virtual machine capability, to create a Moving Target Defense system that uses randomized isolation to increase the cost and complexity of attacking financial institutions. (Initial award September 2018) – Currently in Phase 1
- Morphisec (Beer-Sheva, Israel) will develop a Moving Target Defense-based cybersecurity solution for virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) environments to prevent cyber attacks to financial institutions without reducing the overall performance of an enterprise-level VDI environment. (Initial award September 2018) – Currently in Phase 1
- NexiTech, Inc. (Woodland Park, Colorado) will develop an innovative Moving Target Defense approach to providing critical protection for storage devices and networks. It aims to protect storage management and data interfaces by creating multiple abstractions of devices—similar to frequency-hopping previously used in radio communication—to confuse potential cyber attackers. (Initial award October 2017) – Currently in Phase 1
- StackRox, Inc. (Mountain View, California) proposes a software solution that runs as a collection of integrated, container-based micro services within a computing environment that identifies cyber attacks and uses container-native software to automatically stop malicious activity on affected applications. (Initial award May 2017) – Currently in Phase 3
- Veramine (Bothell, Washington) seeks to harden financial institutions' cyber defense by adding cyber intrusion deception, moving target defense and isolation and containment capabilities to its current Endpoint Detection & Response platform with the aim to significantly increase the economic costs for potential attackers. (Initial award June 2017) – Currently in Phase 1
High Fidelity Counting and Measuring of CBP Queues and Service Times at Ports of Entry
- Kiana Analytics, Inc. (Sunnyvale, California) will develop a cloud-based solution that uses non-invasive Bluetooth and Wi-Fi sensors in conjunction with legacy sensors, such as cameras, to provide real-time measurements of crowd behavior and movement. (Initial award September 2018) – Currently in Phase 1
- Quanergy (Sunnyvale, California) will develop a Light Detection- and Ranging-based capability that can detect and anonymously analyze the flow of queues through airport security and customs processing. (Initial award September 2018) – Currently in Phase 1
- CrowdVision USA Co (London, UK) will combine several commercially-ready measurement, analytics, and modelling technologies from several small innovative businesses, into a single solution to optimize the flow of passengers through airports. (Initial award September 2019) – Currently in Phase 2
- KickView Corporation (Greenwood Village, CO) will scale their kvSonata platform to estimate queue times, transactions times, dwell times, wait times, people counts, and flow rates within an airport environment. (Initial award September 2019) – Currently in Phase 1
Identity and Anti-Spoofing of Non-Person Entities
- Plurilock (Victoria, BC) will design an Identity Management solution for non-person entities using behavioral and contextual data for multi-channel authentication. (Initial award July 2018) – Currently in Phase 2
Internet of Things (IoT) Security
- Bastille Networks, Inc. (Atlanta, Georgia) will focus on identifying enterprise IoT protocols. (Initial award January 2017) – Currently in Phase 5
- QED Secure Solutions LLC (Coppell, Texas) will develop a robust, vendor-agnostic solution for verifying and validating third-party firmware updates for IoT devices. (Initial award January 2017) – Completed Phase 4
K9 Wearable Technologies
- HaloLights LLC (Orlando, Florida) in conjunction with DHS S&T, will develop a canine wearable health monitoring device that leverages existing technology. The device will monitor and analyze vital signs and other health indicators of the CBP’s canine workforce. (Initial award September 2017) – Currently in Phase 2
- TranslateLive, LLC (Clearwater, FL) will enhance their Instant Language Assistant product with adaptations such as offline capability and auto language detection in a hand-held, waterproof, and floatable device. (Initial award in September 2020) – Currently in Phase 1
- Kynamics (Mountain View, CA) proposes to build a portable, standalone system that automatically detects the spoken language and updates for fixes and feedback when an internet connection is available. (Initial award in September 2020) – Currently in Phase 1
Maritime Object Tracking Technology
- Kenautics, Inc. (Encinitas, CA) proposes to adapt their handheld Diver Navigation and Imaging System into a ruggedized buoy deployable from land, air, and sea. (Initial award in September 2020) – Currently in Phase 1
Object Recognition and Adaptive Algorithms in Passenger Property Screening
- Analytical AI (Birmingham, AL) will generate deep learning algorithms to develop an object identification engine that can rapidly and accurately detect common stream of commerce items. (Initial award February 2020) – Currently in Phase 1
- Cignal, LLC (Ashburn, VA) will enhance its working prototype and existing training workflow product to generate a high-volume and high-fidelity synthetic Computed Tomography data source for labeled Stream of Commerce baggage for seamless, unsupervised, and continuous AI model training. (Initial award May 2020) – Currently in Phase 1
- Kraenion Labs, LLC (Los Gatos, CA) proposes to create machine learning algorithms for segmentation and object recognition of common items found in stream-of-commerce passenger baggage and lay the foundations for a commercial product that improves aviation security through enhanced screening. (Initial award December 2019) – Currently in Phase 1
- Synthetik Applied Technologies (Austin, TX) will develop and train an artificial intelligence model with the potential to automatically detect multiple objects at the same time during the airport property screening process. (Initial award March 2020) – Currently in Phase 1
Real-Time Intelligent Traveler Wayfinding
- Arup USA (New York City, New York) proposed to develop a Bluetooth-enabled wayfinding technology to increase the efficiency of processing international travelers through customs. (Initial award July 2018) – Currently in Phase 2
- LocusLabs (Oakland, California) will further develop LocusMaps, an opt-in, interactive navigation tool that provides bi-directional communication between travelers and CBP to aid in traveler navigation within airports and the customs process. (Initial award September 2018) – Currently in Phase 2
Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) Capabilities
- Asymmetric Technologies (Columbus, Ohio) proposes to develop a platform-agnostic Secure UAS Flight Controller that improves the cybersecurity of commercial sUAS systems. This will reduce the risk of cyber attacks on the Department’s sUAS platforms by ensuring secure communication and control mechanisms with operators, secure surveillance telemetry streams and on-board hardware security to prevent unauthorized access of data. (Initial award March 2017) – Completed Phase 4
- Cryptomove, Inc. (San Mateo, California) completed SVIP Phase 4 and moved to a SBIR Phase 3 contract to expand implementation of its cybersecurity capability and continue testing with CBP’s Office of Information Technology in their enterprise network (Initial award February 2017) – Currently in SBIR Phase 3
- Echodyne (Bellevue, Washington) will leverage their new generation of ultra-low Cost, Size, Weight, and Power radar products based on its new Metamaterials Electronically Scanning Array architecture to support Border Patrol operations. (Initial award December 2016) – Completed Phase 4
- Intelleuron (Boise, Idaho) will design a ruggedized, sUAS that incorporates machine learning, voice recognition and artificial intelligence to detect obstacles and protect CBP agents. – (Initial award March 2018) Currently in Phase 2
- Planck Aerosystems (San Diego, California) aims to build a fully autonomous, truck-based, search, surveillance and data delivery platform for DHS applications operated from a dash-mounted user interface, which delivers real-time video and object detection to drivers and passengers without the need for a dedicated pilot or extensive operator training. (Initial award March 2017) – Currently in Phase 4
For a comprehensive list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), please refer to the How to Apply and FAQs document on the OTS sam.gov page.
Is my company eligible to participate in the SVIP program?
Answer: Your company must be considered a non-traditional Government performer and meet additional SVIP requirements to be considered for the program. Please see the eligibility section in the most recent version of the SVIP Other Transaction Solicitation (OTS) on beta.SAM.gov.
Are foreign owned firms eligible for the SVIP program?
Answer: Yes, please see the previous question for eligibility requirements. Please note that award processing to non-U.S. entities may take longer than the 30–45-day window.
Can you review my marketing material/product information and let me know if I should apply to the SVIP program?
Answer: We cannot advise you on whether or not to apply to our program, as that is a business decision. Our advice is to read the call and other documentation associated with the call to make your decision. If you have questions that aren’t answered in call documentation, please send your questions via email to us at email@example.com.
Can I discuss my idea with you before I complete my application?
Answer: We are prohibited from discussing potential content of your application. Our advice is to read the call and other documentation associated with the calls to make your decision. If you have questions that aren’t answered in the call documentation, please send your questions to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pertaining to the milestones identified, is DHS open to applications that skip ahead in phases, moving directly to the pilot/demo?
Answer: No. Currently the program is structured to begin at Phase 1. However, depending on maturity of technology, in some instances, demos/pilots may occur in Phase 1.
If I am a current portfolio company, can I still submit an application to a different topic call?
Answer: Yes, however you still need to be considered an eligible company when applying to the new topic.
When should I submit an application?
Answer: We highly recommend you submit your application in advance of the deadline (about a week) to allow time for you to make updates to the application if deemed noncompliant. Once the deadline has passed, you will be unable to address compliance issues.
What happens if an application is deemed non-compliant?
Answer: Per the guidance in the OTS HSHQDC-16-R-B0005, if the application is deemed non-compliant, your application will be rejected, and you will receive an email notification listing the compliance issue. You may fix the issue and resubmit if the call is still open. Please see below for examples of non-compliant applications:
- Total phase value proposed is greater than the “funding level assigned by phase” identified in the respective solicitation/call
- Total number of pages submitted does not comply with the page count limitations identified in the respective solicitation/call
- Using an incorrect or outdated application
- The application is incomplete – Please ensure you complete every section even if you state “Not-applicable” (N/A)
I submitted my application prior to the deadline, but DHS did not receive it in time, what do I do?
Answer: Please forward the original email that is time stamped with a date and time prior to the call close date/time to DHS-Silicon-Valley@hq.dhs.gov.
Will others in DHS have access to my information? Do they have Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs)?
Answer: All personnel who are handling proprietary information are either federal employees covered by the Trade Secrets Act or have an active non-disclosure agreement with the U.S. government as part of their employment agreement/contract.
There are no open technical calls, but I would still like to submit an application for my technology, what should I do?
Answer: If there are no open technical calls, we cannot accept applications. You will need to wait for another open call that fits your technology. Please check the SVIP website for new open technical calls or join the SVIP mailing list.
You may request to be added to the SVIP mailing list by emailing: DHS-Silicon-Valley@hq.dhs.gov.
You may also consider exploring other S&T programs such as: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program and Long-Range Broad Agency Announcement (LRBAA) program. Please visit the Work with Us webpage on DHS.gov to learn about other S&T funding opportunities.
Press Releases and Media Advisories
- DHS S&T SVIP Awards Funding to Monitor Current and Future Biological Threats - April 5, 2021
- University of Washington to Help DHS Develop COVID-19 Digital Contact Tracing App GTesting Criteria - March 22, 2021
- DHS S&T Awards $153K in Phase 1 Funding to Small Business for Maritime Object Tracking Technology - March 3, 2021
- DHS S&T Awards Funding to Design Video Analytics for TSA Checkpoint - March 2, 2021
- DHS S&T Awards Arlington, MA, Based Start-up Funding for Self-Screening TSA Checkpoints - February 19, 2021
- DHS S&T Awards $198,600 to Develop Security and Privacy Testing of COVID-19 Contract Tracing Apps - February 8, 2021
- DHS S&T Silicon Valley Innovation Program Continues Partnership with Atlanta-Based Start-Up - December 11, 2020
- DHS S&T Awards IPROOV $198K to Pilot Genuine Presence Detection and Anti-Spoofing Capability - November 6, 2020
- Finalists Announced in Digital Wallets Prize Challenge - November 2, 2020
- DHS to Host Virtual Event on $25K Digital Wallets Design Challenge - October 23, 2020
- S&T's Blockchain Program Focuses on Security, Privacy, Interoperability & Standards, July 9, 2019
- Silicon Valley Innovation Program Moves at the Speed of Success, June 26, 2018
USST-SVIP Related Blogs
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