Department of Homeland Security seeking new security systems

| 10/9/2003

The Department of Homeland Security is "open for business" for companies offering technology to improve safety and guard against terrorism, Technology Daily reported.

DHS is seeking "evolutionary and revolutionary" technologies that show quantitative improvements in safety, not just change, Charles McQueary, DHS’ undersecretary for science and technology, said.

With technical standards emerging and budgets growing to fund transportation infrastructure projects, and anti-terrorism and cybersecurity methods, companies are now aggressively pursuing business in Washington.

Of the department's projected $37.6 billion budget for fiscal 2004, $900 million is earmarked for science and technology, including $198 million to prevent biological attacks, McQueary said. About 400 bidders appeared last week at the first meeting for vendors of systems for detecting chemical and biological weapons, he added.

An estimated 85 percent to 90 percent of the $900 million will be devoted to near-term solutions instead of long-term research, McQueary said, describing a two-year schedule in which suppliers move quickly from prototype to installation.