The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is committed to using cutting-edge technologies and scientific talent in its quest to make America safer. Through its Silicon Valley Innovation Program (SVIP), the DHS Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) has awarded $193,612 to Mesur IO, Inc., based in Chapel Hill, NC, to develop a capability to enhance the visibility of food supply chains. The Phase 1 award was made under SVIP’s re-release of its Preventing Forgery & Counterfeiting of Certificates and Licenses solicitation, which identifies five additional use cases supporting DHS mission needs.
Mesur IO’s Phase 1 award project, “Improving Safety and Visibility in the Cross-Border Food and Agriculture Supply,” will adapt Earthstream, its core technology platform, to ensure that DHS Customs and Border Protection has visibility into food supply chains from farm to point of purchase. Its Earthstream platform links geospatial time series data with environmental and agronomic conditions to provide predictions to reduce risks related to agricultural production and food-borne pathogens. The platform’s existing library of pathogen, toxin, weed, and insect characteristics, behavior, and location provides value to the direct end user (i.e., the farmer in the field, or the food supply chain manager), and the ability to identify risk levels for food items that may be contaminated or shipped with packing materials that contain invasive species of concern.
“The ability to have visibility into the international food supply chain is critical to ensuring food safety,” said Anil John, SVIP technical director. “Mesur IO will address this challenge, reduce wastage from spoilage in shipping, and expedite inspection items while ensuring the interoperability of their solution by utilizing emerging W3C global standards.”
Mesur IO will be extending their platform with an open source API layer and engine that meets DHS needs for imports of food and agricultural products, while offering an alternative to the proprietary offerings on the market today. This solution will prevent vendor lock-in, ensure that farmers can own their own data, and decrease risks related to food security.