DHS unveils first SECURE technology from industry venture

Science & Technology Directorate program offloads some research costs to industry

The Homeland Security Department Science & Technology Directorate’s new program to partner with the private sector to achieve some of its research and development goals graduated its first certified product this week.

The product is a blast-resistant video system produced by Video Defence Inc. designed for trucks and buses that functions similarly to an airplane’s “black box.”

DHS officials debuted the new product on April 27 as the first outcome of its new SECURE (System Efficacy through Commercialization, Utilization Relevance and Evaluation) partnership program.

“We are recognizing what may be the beginning of a whole new way of developing partnerships between the public and private sectors,” stated an April 27 announcement in fhe department’s official Blog @ Homeland Security.

In the SECURE program, the directorate publishes detailed requirements for a needed technology or service, along with an estimate of the potential market. Companies spend their own funding to perform the research and development to meet the requirements. When the product is completed and verified with third-party testing, it can be certified as having met the SECURE requirements.

“This saves money on both ends: the government doesn’t spend money on research and development, while the company doesn’t waste resources trying to figure out on their own what the government ultimately is going to need,” the DHS blog said.

In Visual Defence’s case, the requirements for the video system included producing up to 250 hours of video, withstanding C-4 explosions, and surviving for eight minutes in a petroleum fire burning at 1,700F without losing a single frame of footage.

DHS officials presented the Visual Defence device at the Long Island Forum for Technology, located at the Morrelly Homeland Security Center in Bethpage, N.Y.

DHS’s Chief Commercialization Officer Tom Cellucci is the lead on the project.

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

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