The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) announced the selection of Northeastern University to lead a consortium of U.S. academic institutions and other partners for a new Center of Excellence for Engineering Secure Environments from Targeted Attacks (ESE). S&T will provide ESE with a $3.6 million grant for its first operating year of a ten-year grant period.
“Researching and developing science and technology solutions to combat emerging threats is a top priority for DHS, and I am looking forward to continuing this important work in partnership with Northeastern University,” said Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas. “The new Center of Excellence will provide improved access to high-quality, university-led research and education resources for the Department and the broader homeland security enterprise, while at the same time training our Nation’s next generation of homeland security leaders.”
Each Center of Excellence is led by a U.S. college or university in partnership with other academic institutions, industry, National Laboratories, and other Federally Funded Research and Development Centers. Additionally, Centers of Excellence partner with other federal agencies; state, local, and tribal governments; non-profits; and first responder organizations.
“ESE’s research agenda will foster a culture of ‘security by design’ to integrate novel engineering design concepts, technologies, and capabilities to detect, deter, mitigate, and respond to targeted attacks,” said Kathryn Coulter Mitchell, the Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Under Secretary for Science and Technology. “By partnering with universities, S&T delivers innovative, practical, multidisciplinary, customer-driven solutions.”
The ESE research portfolio brings together the best across the nation to ensure DHS counterterrorism capabilities keep pace with new or emerging threats. This includes employing the latest tools, technologies, and protective measures to secure environments that are easily accessible to large numbers of people, such as crowded spaces and public transportation venues. A cornerstone of the ESE is training and continuing education for the workforce on the latest methods to identify and protect the nation from terrorist threats.