Innovative technology development and acquisition have become increasingly competitive and fast moving. To keep pace with rapidly emerging technologies, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) is partnering with DEFENSEWERX (DWX), a nonprofit organization focused on cultivating ecosystems that enable the acceleration of innovative solutions to benefit the nation. This partnership will enable DHS S&T to leverage DWX’s network of innovation hubs co-located with Department of Defense laboratories across the country and source ideas to explore and augment ongoing S&T activities spanning DHS mission areas.
DHS S&T’s Office of Industry Partnerships (OIP) executed a new partnership intermediary agreement (PIA) with DWX. As a partnership intermediary (PI) – a state or local government or a nonprofit entity that is owned, funded, chartered, or operated in whole or in part by a state or local government – DWX will work closely with DHS S&T to conduct cooperative activities with small businesses and educational institutions.
The purpose of this PIA is to assist DHS S&T with its technology transfer and commercialization functions over five task areas that include assessing the current DHS S&T innovation ecosystem; establishing a pilot DHS Innovation Hub and determining how to develop an Innovation Hub system for DHS; and developing recommendations to support and integrate future DHS S&T innovation and technology transfer and commercialization activities to benefit DHS and the Homeland Security Enterprise. DHS S&T seeks to broaden collaboration and integration of existing programs, expand the organization’s footprint into innovation communities, and increase opportunities to commercialize new technologies quickly to address DHS mission needs.
DWX, a 501(c)(3) organization established in 2012 and headquartered in Niceville, Florida, provides services in technology transfer, innovation and collaboration, prototyping, and workforce development/STEM outreach. DWX also serves as a PI for the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Munitions Directorate, U.S. Special Operations Command Headquarters, Air University, Army Cyber Command, U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center, and Naval Post Graduate School.