USRA to Administer Integrative Research in Emerging Technologies for DHS Use Cases Program
Washington, DC—January 25, 2023. Through a new agreement with the MSI STEM Research & Development Consortium (MSRDC), the Universities Space Research Association (USRA) will administer the Integrative Research in Emerging Technologies for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Use Cases Program.
This new program is designed to enable innovation in emerging technologies for DHS use cases, through an integrated portfolio of use-inspired and foundational research for emerging technologies including artificial intelligence (AI), quantum information science (QIS), and autonomous & unmanned aircraft systems (UAS). By engaging a diversity of students and faculty from minority serving institutions in the research (including HBCUs, HSIs and tribal universities), this program will also develop a next generation workforce that takes advantage of the diversity of talents from across the country.
The program is made possible through a partnership established between the Universities Space Research Association (USRA), the Minority Serving Institution (MSI) STEM Research and Development Consortium (MSRDC), and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) Office of University Programs (OUP).
According to Greg Simmons, Program Manager for Minority Serving Institutions (MSI) and Workforce Development at DHS S&T, “This program will support DHS to take advantage of the unique perspectives and capabilities of students and faculty from minority serving institutions, with an integrated approach for research on emerging technologies in support of DHS use cases.”
“This program will drive innovation with an integrated portfolio of use-inspired and foundational research in emerging technologies focused on supporting high priority needs of today while preparing for the future at the same time” says Dr. David Bell, Principal Investigator of the Integrative Research in Emerging Technologies for DHS Use Cases Program and Director of the USRA Research Institute for Advanced Computer Science (RIACS). “One key DHS mission area of focus for this program is to ensure resilience to disasters, with technology advancements that integrate artificial intelligence and quantum information science to support use cases for disaster preparedness, response and recovery involving satellite, autonomous and unmanned aircraft, and ground systems.”
USRA will leverage its existing capabilities in partnership with both DHS OUP and MSRDC to implement this comprehensive new program. Dr. Amanda Smith Hackler, USRA Director of Education and Co-Principal Investigator for this initiative, noted that the program will “address critical shortages in the current workforce pipeline and fulfill the national need to boost competitiveness within the global market economy. Importantly, each research topic has the potential to generate significant and advantageous findings that will ultimately contribute to DHS S&T OUP’s broader mission and align with the agency’s strategic plan."
Founded in 1969, under the auspices of the National Academy of Sciences at the request of the U.S. Government, the Universities Space Research Association (USRA) is a nonprofit corporation chartered to advance space- and aeronautics-related science, technology and engineering. USRA operates research institutes and facilities, and conducts other major research and educational programs. It engages the university community and employs in-house scientific leadership, innovative research and development, and project management expertise. More information about USRA is available at https://www.usra.edu.
About the USRA Research Institute for Advanced Computer Science (RIACS)
Founded in 1983, USRA/RIACS has conducted use-inspired and foundational research in artificial intelligence, high performance computing, and human systems integration since its inception. The institute is dedicated to enhancing public good through advances in artificial intelligence and quantum computing, and equitably building national capacity for foundational and use-inspired research in artificial intelligence and quantum computing supporting public good applications.
About USRA’s Education and Workforce Development Programs
USRA manages a portfolio of education programs that engage students in space- and aeronautics-based research and development projects to increase the number and diversity of future space and aeronautics professionals while addressing critical scientific and technical challenges of sponsor organizations. These programs allow the opportunity to build capacity for space and aeronautics research and innovation at institutes of higher education, including Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs), Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs), and other designated Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs).