Small businesses receive DHS technology deals

Twenty-two small businesses have been selected by the Homeland Security Department's Science and Technology directorate to participate in technology contracts aimed at boosting innovation in the development of homeland security solutions.

DHS will fund 23 projects through the department's Small Business Innovation Research program. Individual companies will receive up to $100,000 in one of five research areas for up to six months.

"I am pleased to announced this sixth set of awards to small businesses to develop innovative technology that will help meet the department's mission to protect the homeland," said Jay Cohen, undersecretary for the Science and Technology directorate, in a prepared statement. Cohen said that the department has seen excellent results from the first set of awards of April 2004.

In Phase I of the project, companies will define the scientific, technical and commercial merit of a particular concept. Companies whose concepts prove successful will be invited to apply for a two-year Phase II award, which will not exceed $750,000. They then will work on developing the original concept into a prototype stage, DHS officials said.

Participation in the small business program is restricted to for-profit, small businesses in the U.S. with 500 or fewer employees.

The five research areas include:
  • Systems for designing and evaluating chemical or biological agent sensor networks;
  • Mobile peripheral devices for biological analysis;
  • Advanced unattended ground sensors;
  • 3-D visualization systems to show first responders assets within building structures in urban areas; and
  • Automated scenario and script builders for simulation-based training systems.

Some of the companies selected to enter negotiations for Phase I awards include Applied Nanotech Inc., Austin, Texas; Diagnostic Biosensors LLC, Minneapolis, Minn.; Biophan Technologies Inc., Santa Clara, Calif.; 21st Century Systems Inc., Omaha, Neb.; and Charles River Analytics Inc., Cambridge, Mass.

Rutrell Yasin writes for Government Computer News, an 1105 Government Information Group publication.

About the Author

Rutrell Yasin is is a freelance technology writer for GCN.

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