DHS tests regional tech program

Regional Technology Integration initiative fact sheet

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The Homeland Security Department today launched a program aimed at testing new technologies, concepts and responses in everyday state and local situations.

Starting with an initial investment of $10 million for systems studies and assessments, the department officials are testing the new Regional Technology Integration initiative in four urban areas, including Cincinnati. They chose those regions because the lessons learned there will be applicable in locations nationwide with similar characteristics, according to DHS officials. The areas were also chosen because they are participating in the Urban Area Security Initiatives (UASI) grant program and have already started putting in place an infrastructure and organization that can support new technologies.

"These initial locations will provide the science and technology community with a realistic environment to test maturing hardware and concepts, and will provide information on how to best choose, deploy and manage these technologies," according to a statement.

Once the assessments are complete, DHS officials will determine funding for the actual deployment of technologies in each area. The initiative will be closely tied to other technology-related programs at the department, such as the Safecom wireless interoperability initiative.

DHS will provide assistance at all levels for the state and local officials in each area — including technical and management assistance, potential upgrades for any local baseline technology needs — but the local governments must be willing to serve as test beds for many advanced and unproven technologies. Local officials must also be willing to find other sources of funding to implement and sustain any solutions developed as part of the testing, according to department officials.

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