A total of 15 businesses will benefit from a new award of $14,994,521 doled out by the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) through its Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program this week, as the government pushes for supportive new technologies.
Specifically, DHS seeks means to bolster its security operations, as in the case of Vadum, Inc. of Raleigh, North Carolina, chosen to pursue an Automated Artificial Intelligence (AI) Distress Alerts and Monitoring system. Others included Broadband Push-to-Talk Interoperability Platform from Catalyst Communications Technologies Inc. and Streamlined Airport Checkpoint Screening for Limited Mobility Passengers, pursued by AnalyticalAI, LLC and Spectral Labs Incorporated.
Mass fatality tracking, biological hazard detection, a new spectroscopic and more were also on the list, providing a diverse list of pursuits from candidates. Each awardee received approximately $1 million to build and demonstrate a prototype over a two-year period, based on the feasibility of technologies they already demonstrated during Phase I efforts.
“Investing in research, development, and innovation is crucial for equipping DHS frontline workers and protecting our nation,” Dr. Dimitri Kusnezov, DHS Under Secretary for Science and Technology, said. “Small businesses are essential to the DHS mission and a healthy economy. The SBIR Program enables DHS to reach small businesses and foster a culture of innovation that supports economic growth and benefits Americans.”
In all, 10 topic areas were chosen. Once 24 months have passed, awardees will be expected to showcase a prototype demonstration of their technological advancements, which could set them up for additional Phase III funding from private sector and/or non-SBIR government sources to create a final product.