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Sunday, October 24th, 2021

DHS awards $1 million to firm for soft target, crowded places software security

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The United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) awarded $999,644 to a California-based small business, Karagozian & Case, Inc., for development of an advanced software option that would allow security professionals to view their environments through a mobile device.

“As crowded places continue to be a target for potential assailant attacks, we must provide our security experts with the technology they need to efficiently and effectively mitigate these threats,” Kathryn Coulter Mitchell, DHS senior official performing the duties of the under secretary for Science and Technology (S&T), said.

The theory behind the technology would be a mobile means of identification and mitigation of threats toward soft targets and crowded places, such as sports venues, shopping centers, schools or transportation systems. The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency (CISA) sees such developments as important to addressing security and preparedness in a variety of situations.

“We’re looking toward the most cutting-edge research and technology to help keep Americans safe,” William Brown, security planning branch chief for CISA, said. “We look forward to continuing the efforts started in Phase I with Karagozian & Case, Inc. to assist field personnel in their work with partners to secure public gatherings, venues, and events using these technologies.”

Money for the award came from the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program, which S&T administers. Karagozian & Case were selected for a Phase II award following successful demonstration of the technology’s feasibility in Phase I testing. Such testing revealed a system built on integration of advanced geographical information systems through mapping software, along with AI, augmented reality and machine learning capabilities, all used to help security personnel better visualize various mitigation methods through a device as portable as their phones.

Now, Karagozian & Case will have 24 months to create a prototype for demonstration of the technology solution. After that, it could gain Phase III funding from private and/or non-SBIR government sources, and potentially, one day commercialize and market the technology.