A new $4.73 million U.S. Department of Defense grant will enable the University of Southern Mississippi and the National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security (NCS4) to identify gaps in security for sports and entertainment events, review and test innovations provided by the DoD, and potentially commercialize them for use at venues around the U.S., according to the Hattiesburg American.

According to Christopher Kinnan with NCS4 and USM, the priority for the one-year project is to find gaps in security for venues that handle multiple event types, although it will not exclude single-sport facilities.

In an email to Security, Kinnan adds: “The technologies USM and NCS4 will be testing will depend on the gaps that surface during our initial analysis, though one key element of the contract is that the technologies be initiated by DoD. In order to surface those technologies, we will be working with the Defense Preparedness Support Initiative (DPSI) in the Department of Defense as our primary partner, and they will assist us with identifying technologies developed in the Department of Defense context, either at DoD labs or through contractors that have developed technologies for the DoD.”

Researchers will evaluate drone use, night vision, surveillance methods and intrusion deterrents. Kinnan says that the project will seek to move DoD technologies that were originally designed for the warfighter to the event and venue security context, providing a more comprehensive toolset for security end users to address gaps in security.