Updates

Department of Energy Announces the First Five Consortium

The U.S. Department of Energy Artificial Intelligence and Technology Office announced the creation of the First Five Consortium, co-chaired with Microsoft Corporation. This cross-cut of industry, government, nonprofit, and academia has pledged their in-kind support to develop solutions that will improve the impact mitigation of natural disasters in the United States.

Fact Sheet: Explaining Operation Warp Speed

Operation Warp Speed aims to deliver 300 million doses of a safe, effective vaccine for COVID-19 by January 2021, as part of a broader strategy to accelerate the development, manufacturing, and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics (collectively known as countermeasures).

NACCHO Releases Comprehensive Survey of U.S. Local Health Department Funding, Programs, and Partnerships

The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) released its 2019 National Profile of Local Health Departments (Profile) report. The Profile is a critical resource for health departments, policymakers, and researchers to better understand funding, workforce, capacity, and other aspects that affect the way services are resourced and delivered by local health departments in their communities.

DHS S&T, DOT Select University of Illinois-Led Consortium to Research Interoperability for 911 Public Safety Comms

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T), in partnership with the Department of Transportation (DoT), has selected the Critical Infrastructure Resilience Institute, a DHS Center of Excellence led by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, to develop a framework and process for testing the interoperability and compatibility of Next Generation 911 systems.

FEMA Preparedness Grant Evaluation Request for Information

FEMA’s National Preparedness Assessment Division has issued a request for information in the Federal Register seeking input on measuring the impact that the Homeland Security Grant Program has on state, local, tribal, and territorial preparedness.

Preparing State and Local Leaders for an Explosive Attack

Explosives are a popular choice among terrorists for causing disruption, casualties, and destruction. Explosives are relatively easy to make, transport, and use. The Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate wants to make sure that state and local leaders have choices, by arming them with technology to plan for worst-case scenarios and mitigate the fallout of terrorist attacks.

Investing in Advanced Manufacturing to Support Public Health Preparedness

Many 21st century medical products are still being manufactured using technologies commonly employed since the middle of the last century. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has sought to encourage and facilitate the adoption of “advanced manufacturing,” which refers to new and emerging approaches for the production of medical technologies. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for adaptive manufacturing systems to accelerate the production of medical countermeasures.

S&T, EPA Are Helping Coast Guard Prepare to Clean Up Following an Anthrax Attack

If terrorists use anthrax as a bioagent on a ship or in a harbor, the U.S. Coast Guard must decontaminate the impacted area as quickly as possible to reduce the threat to personnel and civilians, while remaining ready to do its mission. The project Analysis for Coastal Operational Resiliency (AnCOR) aims to find the best, safest methods to decontaminate Coast Guard bases, stations, and vessels. The project is a partnership of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Coast Guard.

NIST Launches Investigation of Face Masks’ Effect on Face Recognition Software

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) did a preliminary study to see how well face recognition algorithms identify people wearing masks. Even the best of the 89 commercial facial recognition algorithms tested had error rates between 5% and 50% in matching digitally applied face masks with photos of the same person without a mask.

CDC Releases New Resources and Tools to Support Opening Schools

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is releasing new science-based resources and tools for school administrators, teachers, parents, guardians, and caregivers when schools open this fall. The resources and tools support how to open schools safely by promoting behaviors that prevent spread, altering how a school and school day is structured, and outlining how to keep the school environment healthy through cleaning, proper ventilation, and other practices.