Newswise — WASHINGTON – The Israel-U.S. Binational Industrial Research and Development (BIRD) Foundation is announcing awards for two collaborative projects totaling $1.5 million to develop advanced homeland security technologies in the areas of threat detection and 3D mapping. The BIRD Homeland Security (HLS) program is a joint initiative funded by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) and the Israel Ministry of Public Security (MOPS).
“The BIRD HLS program gives us the opportunity to bring some of the best U.S. and Israeli technology companies together to address our broad homeland security needs,” said DHS Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Under Secretary for Science and Technology William N. Bryan. “These strategic partnerships will develop innovative solutions that will enhance safety and security around the globe.”
The 2020 HLS awardees include:
- Liberty Defense Technologies (Peachtree Corners, Georgia) and Levitection (Haifa, Israel) will develop a detection solution based on electromagnetic imaging and artificial intelligence to detect threats and concealed items in wide-open areas.
- Hivemapper (Burlingame, California) and Ception Technologies (Jerusalem, Israel) will develop a fused air and ground 3D mapping system.
Dr. Eitan Yudilevich, Executive Director of the BIRD Foundation, said, “BIRD HLS attracts innovative American and Israeli companies and encourages synergistic partnerships to develop solutions that will fulfill critical homeland security needs in both countries. We look forward to continuing our work with DHS and the Israel Ministry of Public Security and to the next cycle in 2021.”
Since 2016, DHS S&T has partnered with the MOPS on the BIRD HLS program to seek solutions to advancing first responder technologies. This year’s call for proposals included six additional areas for U.S. and Israeli collaboration:
- Cyber crime
- Critical infrastructure and public facilities
- Safe and secure cities
- Border protection
- Unmanned aerial systems
- Advanced technologies for first responders
The BIRD Foundation is a unique U.S.-Israeli partnership that accelerates cooperation between U.S. and Israeli companies, academia and other research institutions in a wide range of technology sectors to foster strategic partnerships between companies in both countries for the purpose of joint product development. The program funds up to 50 percent of the combined project budget, up to a million dollars per project, and works with companies to identify potential strategic partners and facilitate introductions.
DHS S&T focuses on providing the tools, technologies, and knowledge products the nation’s Homeland Security Enterprise needs today and tomorrow. S&T uses a network of industry, national laboratory, and other partners to seek solutions for capability gaps and define topics for future research. S&T strives to enable effective, efficient, and secure operations across all homeland security missions by applying scientific, engineering, analytic, and innovative approaches to deliver timely solutions and support Departmental acquisitions.