DHS seeks faster innovation and development approach


Specialists at the Homeland Security Department want industry input on ways to rapidly develop and test new tools and systems on the nation's borders, airports and for first responders.

In a request for information posted online Jan 23, DHS says it wants a 24 month design-to-production cycle that can "rapidly develop and deliver technical solutions that are integrated into homeland security operations."

Items to be covered under this two-year cycle include sensors and surveillance systems for borders and ports, systems to detect and aid deployment of medical countermeasures for biological and chemical attacks, explosives detection at airports and situational awareness systems for first responders.

The rapid prototyping and production, says DHS, will initially focus on small-scale manufacturing items where it provides supplies and tools to partner federal, state and local agencies for common operations or a common purpose.

The 24 month time frame is prefered, but DHS recognizes that this may not be possible in all areas of development and that in other areas existing capabilities may make it viable only in the long term.

Officials say the rapid prototyping vehicle can be a combination of efforts in defining a proof-of-concept, developing new capabilities in operational context, pilot tests in an operational environment and pre-production and manufacturing capabilities.

The RFI also asks companies to provide comments and definitions on these areas so DHS can determine private-sector definitions and approaches to rapid prototyping.

Responses should also include reasons companies are interested in working with DHS and contract details desired by companies. They are due on Feb. 22.

For more:
- see the RFI FBO posting

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