Applications are now being accepted for the NextGen First Responder Technologies solicitation, an opportunity for a maximum conditional grant of up to $1 million, jointly funded by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) and the Israel Ministry of Public Security (MOPS).
The NextGen First Responder Technologies program is looking for innovations in fields such as protective clothing, wearable technology, and situational awareness. A full list of capability gaps and submission details are available on the Israel U.S. Binational Industrial Research and Development (BIRD) Foundation website, www.birdf.com. The deadline for executive summaries is February 15, 2018, and final proposals are due by April 10, 2018. Decisions are expected to be issued in June 2018.
“First responders need advanced tools to perform their duties safely and efficiently, and working with our international partners in this manner will help us find the best technologies available,” said William N. Bryan, Senior Official Performing the Duties of the DHS Under Secretary for Science and Technology. “We are excited about renewing this partnership for the third year in a row. Our previous partnerships yielded dozens of proposals, and several research and development contract awards, with interest still ongoing. I can’t wait to see what this year’s partnership brings.”
Small businesses who were awarded contracts through this partnership are working on promising cutting-edge technologies such as unmanned search and rescue systems, public safety off-network broadband communications, and a separate autonomous drone-based search & rescue solution to help support the first responder community. In addition to the grants from BIRD, the projects will access private sector funding, boosting the total value of the three projects to approximately $7 million.
The program extends and enhances the successful collaboration that already exists between the U.S. and Israel in science and technology to the homeland security sector, outlined in a broader agreement signed in 2008 between DHS and MOPS.
Projects submitted for consideration are reviewed by representatives of DHS, the Israel Innovation Authority and experts from the Israel MOPS.
The BIRD Foundation is a unique U.S.-Israeli partnership that accelerates cooperation between U.S. and Israeli companies in a wide range of technology sectors to foster strategic partnerships between companies in both countries for the purpose of joint product development. In addition to providing conditional grants of up to $1 million for approved projects, the Foundation assists by working with companies to identify potential strategic partners and facilitate introductions.