The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) announced a $36.5 million funding opportunity for a new DHS Center of Excellence (COE), Engineering Secure Environments from Targeted Attacks (ESE). Accredited United States colleges and universities are invited to submit proposals as the center lead.
“Partnering with universities, S&T delivers practical results by developing multidisciplinary, customer-driven solutions while training the next generation of homeland security experts,” said William Bryan, Acting Under Secretary for Science and Technology. “The challenges we face as a nation are complex. In collaboration with our academic partners, DHS is excited to launch a new COE focused on mitigating long-term threats against our nation’s surface transportation and built environments with novel engineering solutions.”
This funding opportunity is posted at www.grants.gov. The deadline for submitting proposals is March 10, 2021. DHS plans to fund the new COE through a cooperative agreement for 10 years for a total of approximately $36.5 million.
The ESE COE will research and develop solutions to support DHS counterterrorism and violent extremism operations. The COE will help DHS continue fostering a culture of “security by design” by providing intentional and flexible architecture solutions to thwart an adaptive adversary. ESE will also advance a skilled workforce of scientists, technologists, engineers and mathematicians who focus on homeland security-related issues.
Technological advancements and their applications are increasingly complex and integrated into everyday processes. As cities grow larger and density increases across people, buildings, and infrastructure, a potential increase in the frequency or severity of targeted attacks from foreign and domestic terrorism is a legitimate concern. ESE will provide academic-led innovation that supports safer, more resilient transportation systems and communities.
DHS is soliciting proposals from multidisciplinary research and education teams, that will work closely with DHS and other subject-matter experts to develop approaches to strengthen the security of crowded spaces and transportation modalities. The teams will need various combinations of academic disciplines, including engineering, data analytics, and mathematics.
The DHS COEs work closely with DHS operating components to research, develop, and transition mission-relevant science and technology, and educate the next generation of homeland security technical experts. ESE will be required to engage with DHS operational components and fully understand the operational environment to help better identify technical and training gaps. Each DHS COE is led by a U.S. college or university and partners with other federally funded research and development centers, academic institutions, the commercial industry, and other federal, state, and local agencies.
Applicants interested in becoming the lead Institution can find the notice of funding opportunity for the Engineering Secure Environments from Targeted Attacks COE at grants.gov. S&T will conduct an informational webinar for interested applicants on February 4, 2021, at 2 p.m. EST. During the call, DHS will discuss the notice of funding opportunity and allow interested applicants to ask questions. The webinar can be accessed by phone (Dial: +1 202-516-6093, 398809543#) and computer (MS Teams Hyperlink).