DHS plans to seek cybersecurity R&D center support

Homeland Security Department plans to award a multi-year contract to provide a range of management and technical services

The Homeland Security Department wants to hire a contractor to support its research and development (R&D) efforts in cybersecurity.

DHS plans to accept proposals as early as March for a range of technical and management support needs for cybersecurity R&D projects being performed by the department’s Science and Technology (S&T) Directorate, according to a draft of a request for proposals. The department is looking to award a contract for a base of two years with three possible option years, states the draft notice posted on the Federal Business Opportunities Web site on Feb. 25.

The work would be done to support the S&T Directorate’s Cyber Security Research and Development Center, a virtual center that doesn't exist at a physical location. The contractor's responsibilities would include:

  • Leading and participating in experiments and exercises for various cybersecurity projects;
  • Establishing a cybersecurity R&D framework that includes requirements development, conducting and coordinating R&D, and post-R&D test, and evaluation;
  • Doing pre-R&D activities such as developing requirements and needs statements, and organizing workshops and conferences;
  • Supporting technical research program in areas such understanding and countering emerging threats;
  • Doing post-R&D activities such as coordinating testing, evaluation, and deployment activities; and
  • Participating in DHS-sponsored technical experiments and exercises and working with the venture capitalists.

DHS would want the contractor to have:

  • Specific technical knowledge;
  • An understanding of state of the art in cybersecurity technology;
  • An understanding of the relevant R&D field; and
  • The capability to deliver coursework in technology transition with expertise in venture capital.

The contractor would need to have facilities in Washington and Silicon Valley, Calif., to facilitate interactions with industry and venture capitalists. The contractor would have to work with industry and help coordinate research with other organizations such as the Defense Department and the National Science Foundation.

DHS said it anticipates issuing a final RFP after March 15; comments can be submitted through March 5.

About the Author

Ben Bain is a reporter for Federal Computer Week.

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