DHS funds think tank

The Homeland Security Department's Science and Technology Directorate has tapped Analytic Services Inc. to run the department's first think tank to provide technical and analytical support for setting priorities and guiding projects and investments.

The Homeland Security Institute is the federal government's first federally funded research and development center in a decade. Its funding may reach almost $130 million over the next four and a half years, according to a department announcement today.

Analytic Services, an independent nonprofit research institute based in Arlington, Va., won the competitively-bid contract against six other competitors. A team of federal and private-sector scientific and technical experts chose it.

The institute will operate at the highest levels of classification and provides studies that could range from 30 days to 12 months or more. Specifically, it will provide:

* Systems, risk and vulnerability analyses, as well as the creation of strategic technology development plans to reduce vulnerabilities in the nation's critical infrastructure. The analyses will cover all stages of development and deployment, initiate and conduct research, and develop, test, evaluate, and build or acquire systems.

* Operational assessments related to systems development, performance, and strategy, such as assessing deployed security measures, evaluating program effectiveness through developed metrics, and designing exercises and simulations.

* Technology assessments to identify, evaluate and use advanced technologies, including determining their effectiveness and appropriateness of their deployment.

* Resources and support to develop methods, techniques, and tools as well as conduct analyses for investment decisions and cost implications.

* Analytical and technical evaluations of prospective technologies as it relates to the Support Anti-Terrorism by Fostering Effective Technologies Act of 2002, known as the SAFETY Act.

* Objective operations analyses, systems evaluations and other technical support in the field.

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