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Homeland Security 5 Year Anniversary 2003 - 2008, One Team, One Mission Securing the Homeland

Directorate for Science and Technology

The Directorate for Science and Technology (S&T Directorate) is the primary research and development arm of DHS.

Mission and Objectives

The S&T Directorate, in partnership with the private sector, national laboratories, universities, and other government agencies (domestic and foreign), helps push the innovation envelope and drive development and the use of high technology in support of homeland security.

The Directorate is focusing on enabling its customers—the DHS components—and their customers, including Border Patrol agents, Coast Guardsmen, airport baggage screeners, Federal Air Marshals, and state, local, and Federal emergency responders, as well as the many others teamed and committed to the vital mission of securing the Nation.

To reach its goals, the S&T Directorate is:

  • Creating a customer-focused, output-oriented, full-service science and technology management organization that is consistent with its enabling legislation
  • Incorporating lessons learned since the start-up of DHS to sharpen its focus on executing mission-oriented programs
  • Providing leadership and resources to develop the intellectual basis that is essential to future mission success

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The Directorate is led by Under Secretary Jay M. Cohen, with six primary divisions that address critical homeland security needs—spanning basic research through advanced technology development and transition.

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Technical Divisions

  • Borders and Maritime Security Division develops and transitions tools and technologies that improve the security of our Nation's borders and waterways, without impeding the flow of commerce and travelers.
  • Chemical and Biological Division works to increase the Nation's preparedness against chemical and biological threats through improved threat awareness, advanced surveillance and detection, and protective countermeasures.
  • Command, Control, and Interoperability Division develops interoperable communication standards and protocols for emergency responders, cyber security tools for protecting the integrity of the Internet, and automated capabilities to recognize and analyze potential threats.
  • Explosives Division develops the technical capabilities to detect, interdict, and lessen the impacts of non-nuclear explosives used in terrorist attacks against mass transit, civil aviation, and critical infrastructure.
  • Human Factors Division applies the social and behavioral sciences to improve detection, analysis, and understanding and response to homeland security threats.
  • Infrastructure and Geophysical Division focuses on identifying and mitigating the vulnerabilities of the 17 critical infrastructure and key assets that keep our society and economy functioning.

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  • Research portfolio addresses long-term research needs in support of DHS mission areas that will provide the Nation with an enduring capability in homeland security. 

  • Innovation portfolio supports a key goal of putting advanced capabilities into the hands of our customers as soon as possible. Innovation oversees the Homeland Security Advanced Research Projects Agency (HSARPA), focusing on homeland security research and development that could lead to significant technology breakthroughs and greatly enhance departmental operations.

  • Transition portfolio focuses on delivering capabilities that DHS components and first responders can rely on to meet their operational needs.

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  • Homeland Security Centers of Excellence bring together leading experts and researchers to conduct multidisciplinary research and education for homeland security solutions.

  • Homeland Security Institute is the Department's first government "think tank" or Federally Funded Research and Development Center.

  • Homeland Secrity Advanced Research Projects Agency (HSARPA). (S&T) The HSARPA focuses on homeland security research and development that could lead to significant technology breakthroughs and greatly enhance departmental operations.

  • National Critical Infrastructure Protection Research and Development Plan. Homeland Security Presidential Directive-7 (HSPD-7).

  • Office of National Laboratories (ONL) provides a coordinated, enduring core of productive science, technology, and engineering laboratories, organizations, and institutions, which can provide the knowledge and technology required to secure the Nation.

  • SAFETY Act provides liability protections that make it feasible for sellers of qualified antiterrorism technologies to introduce homeland security solutions to the marketplace.

  • SECURE program is the Department's innovative business initiative that enables collaboration of public and private entities to develop products and services rapidly to protect the Homeland to the benefit of the taxpayers, private sector and DHS.

  • S&T Snapshots. (S&T) The S&T Snapshots newsletter, features stories about current research projects and opportunities with laboratories, universities, government agencies, and the private sector.

  • TechSolutions provides information, resources, and technology solutions that address mission capability gaps identified by the emergency response community.

  • Test & Evaluation and Standards program provides technical support and coordination to assist the Nation's emergency responders in the acquisition of equipment, procedures, and mitigation processes that are safe, reliable, and effective.

  • University Programs engages the academic community to create learning and research environments in areas critical to homeland security.

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This page was last reviewed/modified on September 12, 2008.