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Friday, April 9th, 2021

DHS funds target biological threats monitoring

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The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) has earmarked funds to develop capabilities to monitor the current COVID-19 pandemic and other future biological events.

The agency has awarded $199,648 to Chapel Hill, North Carolina-based Inc. for analysis and reporting of outbreak-related data. The award is made under SVIP’s Emerging Needs: COVID-19 Response & Future Mitigation solicitation and supports the National Biosurveillance Integration Center (NBIC).

“We are looking forward to embarking on another project with,” SVIP Managing Director Melissa Oh said. “Their work in agriculture and other prior global outbreaks have demonstrated the project’s adaptability to meet our needs in monitoring the evolution of the current pandemic and anticipating for any future public health crisis.”

The project would seek to adapt its Earthstream Platform to provide DHS and NBIC with data used to track metrics related to an outbreak or emergence to predict various risks of a biological threat.

The technology automatically identifies, extracts, and links geospatial data with relevant data, such as demographics and travel, for easy analysis and improved reporting.

“DHS is very excited to work with,” Dave Shepherd, S&T program manager, said. “At its core, the product is rooted in automated, continuous learning. It promises to deliver a platform capable of automated discovery of data helpful to understand the effectiveness of responses to current and emerging diseases.”