Homeland Security pursues support for agriculture defense
By: Sydney Sheffield
The United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) has released a request for information regarding capabilities for science support for the S&T Food, Agriculture, and Veterinary Defense Program (FAV-D). DHS recently established the Office of Health Security to refocus department efforts on human and agriculture security.
The S&T Office of National Laboratories is seeking organizations capable of providing expertise, laboratory research, development, test, and evaluation capabilities to combat current or emerging transboundary animal and zoonotic diseases, high consequence plant and crop diseases, agricultural pests, or technologies that may harm the United States agriculture industry.
“DHS is invested in the agro-defense mission’s success. S&T’s Plum Island Animal Disease Center (PIADC) will continue to support the science necessary to stay ahead of the curve and address transboundary animal diseases to protect U.S. agriculture,” said Dr. Tod Companion, executive advisor to the S&T FAV-D program, in a press release.
PIADC is in Orient Point, NY, and is the primary resource for DHS in executing research, development, testing, and evaluation of transboundary animal diseases. That facility will cease operations once its function transitions to the NBAF in Manhattan, Kansas, which will be owned and operated by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Companion concluded, “We will continue to coordinate our efforts in human and agricultural security as the PIADC transitions to the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF).”
DHS is interested in several capabilities such as:
- Expertise, experience, and capabilities to perform studies
- Major programmatic and/or organizational accomplishments
- Relevant, peer-reviewed, published research
- Special relationships/partnerships with other performers
- Ability to support threat-driven analyses
- Ability to support and/or conduct biological countermeasure RDT&E
- Capabilities to support and/or conduct technology transfer
- Other capabilities or planned capabilities for RDT&E
- Available physical infrastructure to support DHS FAV-D programs
- Personnel and expertise that could assist with the execution of DHS FAV-D studies
- Systems for Pathogen Handling
- Security/Information Handling
If interested, please find additional information here.