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Based on today’s threats and technologies, what should the homeland security environment look like in 20 to 30 years? What challenges will DHS components, responders and other end users face? How should the homeland security community change in order to best respond to these challenges? What should S&T plan for now to ensure the nation is more resilient and secure in the future?
These are the questions S&T wants to answer. And these are the questions we posed to the larger stakeholder community in the summer of 2014. Our goal? To develop visionary goals that will address the homeland security challenges ahead.
Operational + Strategic Focus
In the past, S&T had a very operational focus in helping to bridge capability gaps identified by component partners and stakeholders. In mid-2014, that organizational outlook shifted to include a strategic viewpoint as well. While S&T continues to work with component partners, first responders and other stakeholders on current issues, the organization began creating comprehensive, far-reaching visionary goals that look 20 or more years into the future. These visionary goals will serve as our strategic direction and will ultimately improve DHS’s capabilities and make our nation more secure.
Developing these goals was a collaborative process that included S&T, DHS components, industry and academic partners and other stakeholders, including the American public. The response drove new goals that will guide S&T in developing innovative solutions, while increasing efficiencies, and empowering stakeholders to capitalize on technological advancements. They will also lay the foundation for a new strategic plan, which looks five to 10 years out and further describes S&T’s desired future.
S&T will continue to provide operational support, helping stakeholders nationwide meet near-term requirements. We will also facilitate long-term research and development opportunities with public and private sector communities. With the visionary goals, we are aligned strategically to put the technology in place to make our vision of a secure future a reality.
S&T’s Visionary Goals
Screening at Speed: Security that Matches the Pace of Life
Noninvasive screening at speed will provide for comprehensive threat protection while adapting security to the pace of life rather than life to security. Unobtrusive screening of people, baggage, or cargo will enable the seamless detection of threats while respecting privacy, with minimal impact to the pace of travel and speed of commerce.
Trusted Cyber Future: Protecting Privacy, Commerce, and Community
In a future of increasing cyber connections, underlying digital infrastructure will be self-detecting, self-protecting, and self-healing. Users will trust that information is protected, illegal use is deterred, and privacy is not compromised. Security will operate seamlessly in the background.
Enable the Decision Maker: Actionable Information at the Speed of Thought
Predictive analytics, risk analysis, and modeling and simulation systems will enable critical and proactive decisions to be made based on the most relevant information, transforming data into actionable information. Even in the face of uncertain environments involving chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear incidents, accurate, credible, and context-based information will empower the aware decision maker to take instant actions to improve critical outcomes.
Responder of the Future: Protected, Connected, and Fully Aware
The responder of the future is threat-adaptive and cross-functional. Armed with comprehensive physical protection, interoperable tools, and networked threat detection and mitigation capabilities, responders of the future will be better able to serve their communities.
Resilient Communities: Disaster-Proofing Society
Critical infrastructure of the future will be designed, built, and maintained to withstand naturally occurring and man-made disasters. Decision makers will know when a disaster is coming, anticipate the effects, and use already-in-place or rapidly deployed countermeasures to shield communities from negative consequences. Resilient communities struck by disasters will not only bounce back, but bounce forward.