DHS to hold IT science fair

Agency's Science and Technology Directorate seeks new technology

The Homeland Security Department is seeking fresh technology ideas that span several areas and explicitly or implicitly incorporate information technology development in each category.

The agency's Science and Technology Directorate has issued a long range, broad agency announcement for proposals of prototypes that could advance and improve homeland security technology.

Anyone who meets the department's criteria as a worthy technologist, described as a 'responsible source,' can submit ideas. This includes companies in other countries and federal agencies.

The directorate's deadline for white papers and proposals is 4:30 p.m. EST, Dec. 31, 2008.

Organizations and individuals that plan to respond must first register online before submitting materials. A range of grants, contracts, awards and other financial packages will be issued, the department said. DHS may fund all or part of a technology program, including technology development, prototype development and field performance investigations.

The announcement calls for ideas and categories across a range of revolutionary and maturing technologies, including technology for:
  • Explosives countermeasures
  • Chemical and biological analysis and countermeasures
  • Border and maritime security technologies
  • Command, control and interoperability for integrated networks and first responders
  • Human-factor analysis and techniques to improve understanding of threats posed by groups and individuals and
  • Infrastructure protection.

All submissions must demonstrate a homeland security application. The BAA asked for unclassified proposals, but also said it would accept classified proposals.

The announcement specifically invited basic science projects in the areas of interoperable devices and systems, predictive and proactive concepts and systems and human operator cognitive performance enhancement.

The directorate plans to issue evaluations and awards on a rolling selection basis. The announcement set a schedule for evaluations within 60 days from receipt and awards to be approximately 60 days after award notification. The department plans to base the awards on overall scientific and technical merit of a proposal and the offeror's capabilities, experience and past performance. The directorate will take cost considerations into account for each proposal. In the case of large businesses, the small business subcontracting opportunities will be an additional factor in evaluating proposals, the directorate said.

About the Author

Kathleen Hickey is a freelance writer for GCN.


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