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Wednesday, June 19th, 2024

First-ever DHS department-wide innovation, research and development plan lays out investment goals

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The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recently sought to articulate its critical investment plans to help it meet technological needs and maximize strategic impact by publishing a department-wide Innovation, Research and Development (IRD) Strategic Plan.

It was the result of two years of work by the Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) to assess the department’s research and development efforts and to formulate a coordinated strategy for long-term research. Built on an analysis of common research fields, the plan highlights eight priority research areas and future capabilities DHS will need for its missions so it can consult the plan as it pushes coordinated, integrated investments.

“This visionary roadmap, informed by scientific efforts, will empower DHS and its components to reduce risks to the homeland through optimized innovation, research, and development investments,” Dr. Dimitri Kusnezov, DHS Under Secretary for Science and Technology, said. “The technologies resulting from our IRD investments play a critical role in equipping the Department’s front-line operators with necessary tools to outpace our adversaries and enhance our preparedness and response capabilities.”

Data was compiled from every DHS component and office for the IRD plan. In addition, it offered an overview of complementary efforts from federal, state, local, tribal, territorial, nongovernmental, and private sector entities. As for specific priority research areas, these included:

  • Advanced Sensing
  • Artificial Intelligence and Autonomous Systems
  • Biotechnology
  • Climate Change
  • Communications and Networking
  • Cybersecurity
  • Data Integration, Analytics, Modeling and Simulation
  • Digital Identity and Trust

These will remain the focus through 2030 and should guide future partnership opportunities for industry, interagency, academic, and international communities. IRD investment roadmaps for each priority area are under separate development and implementation by S&T and should begin to inform the department’s budget process starting in fiscal year 2027.