U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), working with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate, recently awarded a series of contracts for various technology initiatives related to border security.
DHS first awarded $162,302 to Tamr, a Cambridge, Massachusetts-based data analytics and machine learning algorithms start up, to build additional capability into CBP’s global travel assessment system (GTAS). GTAS is an open-source project that provides foreign nation-states and border security entities the ability to collect and process risk criteria against standardized air traveler information.
“Strong data analytics are the backbone to seamless security,” Reginald Brothers, DHS under secretary for science and technology, said. “Joining forces to educate the nation’s innovators on our problem sets has helped the Department access operational solutions that were once difficult to reach.”
DHS awarded five additional contracts under the DHS Silicon Valley Initiative Program (SVIP), which engages technology companies to develop solutions for CBP’s border security challenges.
“These companies are the first members of what we are calling our ‘Charter Class’ of performers under our collaboration with the SVIP program,” CBP Deputy Commissioner Kevin K. McAleenan said. “We look forward to the innovations enhancing our operations.”
The awardees will be addressing issues related to Internet of Things Security, exploring capabilities for small and unmanned aerial systems for CBP support, and building additional capabilities into CBP’s GTAS.
“We recognize the historic challenges the startup community has had working with the government,” CBP’s Head of Technology Community Engagement Ari Schuler said. “Our goal is to provide as much value to companies who participate in this program as possible, and our Charter Class will help us shape that engagement.”
CBP said it anticipates additional awards under the SVIP program to be finalized in early 2017.