Texas A&M University was selected to lead a consortium of U.S. academic institutions, among others, for a new Center of Excellence (COE) for Cross-Border Threat Screening and Supply Chain Defense (CBTS).
The project will be funded by a $3.85 million grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T). The grant is for its first operating year of a 10-year grant period.
The CBTS center will work with U.S. Customs and Border Protection to develop solutions to counter known and unknown biological threats to the country.
“This Center’s work will assist DHS operations that protect the global supply chain and reduce the risk of exposing people and infrastructures to new and evolving biological threats,” said William Bryan, the senior official performing the duties of the under secretary for Science and Technology. “We anticipate this new Center will work closely with industry and other partners to develop solutions that minimize risks.”
Texas A&M will lead the consortium of academic, industry, government, and laboratory partners in its research efforts.
“This Center will deliver relevant technology and analytics to support CBP in securing the trillions of dollars of trade and millions of travelers that enter the United States each year,” CBP Commissioner Kevin McAleenan said. “We look forward to working with Texas A&M and the Center of Excellence as we explore new technologies to better facilitate safe and secure trade and travel.”
The initiative will focus on three areas, including technologies detecting biological threats moving through global supply chains; data integration and analytics to support threat detection; and novel methods to minimize risks to DHS operations. It will also seek to train workers to respond to current and emerging biological threats.