• DHS S&T has awarded two Innovation Prizes to companies offering solutions for first responders.
     DHS S&T has awarded two Innovation Prizes to companies offering solutions for first responders.

DHS S&T Announces Winners of Innovation Prize Competition

May 21, 2015
By George I. Seffers
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The Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS's) Science and Technology (S&T) Directorate today announced the winners of the S&T’s first innovation prize competition: The Vreeland Institute Inc., Copake, New York, and Certa Cito LLC, Rochester, New York. The competition, “Indoor Tracking of the Next Generation First Responder” focused on the challenge of keeping track of first responders when they are inside buildings, tunnels and other structures.

“By developing this competition, we hope to recognize the nontraditional innovators who can bring fresh ideas to the table to meet this mission-critical need,” said Robert Griffin, S&T deputy undersecretary and a former firefighter and emergency manager.

The first place prize of $20,000 will be awarded to The Vreeland Institute Inc. The company’s winning solution proposed a multilayered approach of existing technologies to locate first responders by creating a 3-D map of each room entered as first responders progress through a building. Certa Cito’s second place solution, which will receive a $5,000 award, adopts an existing localization and tracking technology developed for the sports and mining industries that relies on a deployable mesh network.

These two solutions were selected from more than 50 ideas submitted. A panel of expert judges systematically reviewed the submissions for technical merit and alignment to DHS mission and programmatic needs.

This competition was created under the America Creating Opportunities to Meaningfully Promote Excellence in Technology, Education, and Science Reauthorization Act of 2010 (The America COMPETES Act) in support of the nation’s first responder community.

For more information on the DHS S&T Innovation Prize Program, please visit: http://www.dhs.gov/science-and-technology/prize-competitions

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