DHS Awards California Business Funding for Crowded Areas Situational Awareness Software
Wednesday, October 06, 2021 | Comments

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program recently awarded $999,644.84 to California-based small business Karagozian & Case to develop an advanced software capability that enables security professionals to view their environment through a mobile device to identify and mitigate threats toward soft target and crowded places.

The research will support ongoing work by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) to address security and preparedness in places such as sports venues, shopping venues, schools, and transportation systems.

“As crowded places continue to be a target for potential assailant attacks, we must provide our security experts with the technology they need to efficiently and effectively mitigate these threats,” said Kathryn Coulter Mitchell, DHS senior official performing the duties of the under secretary for science and technology (S&T). “The development of this advanced technology will better prepare and secure soft target areas.”

The DHS SBIR Program, administered by the DHS Science and Technology Directorate (S&T), selected Karagozian & Case for a phase two award following its successful demonstration of feasibility in phase one and the proposed phase two development of its soft targets and crowded places security solution. The technology leverages and integrates advanced geographical information systems mapping software, artificial intelligence (AI), augmented reality (AR) and machine learning capabilities to view threat environments and visualize various mitigation methods on a mobile device. Karagozian & Case will continue its research and development efforts on the development of its security mitigation assessment of risks and threats (SMART) software application that will analyze different threat mitigation strategies to effectively assess the elimination and mitigation of security threats to soft targets and crowded places.

“We’re looking toward the most cutting-edge research and technology to help keep Americans safe,” said William Brown, CISA security planning branch chief. “We look forward to continuing the efforts started in phase one with Karagozian & Case Inc. to assist field personnel in their work with partners to secure public gatherings, venues, and events using these technologies.”

At the completion of the 24-month phase two contract, SBIR awardees will have developed a prototype to demonstrate the advancement of technology, spearheading the potential for phase three funding. Under phase three, SBIR performers will seek to secure funding from private and/or non-SBIR government sources, with the eventual goal to commercialize and bring to market the technologies from phases two and three.

“SBIR efforts, such as this project, can be the key to assessing and mitigating security risks that face our nation,” said DHS SBIR Director Dusty Lang. “By partnering with small businesses, we are able to advance technology and remain agile in the way we respond to emerging threats.”

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