Directorate Reorganizes for Efficiency
New structure will help keep pace with rapid innovation.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) has reorganized its research and development (R&D) structure to more rapidly transition technology capabilities into operations and respond to emerging threats.
William N. Bryan, the senior official performing the duties of the undersecretary for science and technology, DHS, explains the revitalized configuration enhances the focus on the needs of the DHS operational components and homeland security operators across all levels of government.
“We no longer have the luxury of time to do traditional R&D, so we must change if we are to get ahead of threats cycles and keep pace with rapid innovation,” he says. “We are improving our R&D business practices to make it easier for industry, including the start-up community, to work with us.”
The directorate has reorganized into four primary offices that will work collaboratively: the Office of Mission and Capability Support; the Office of Science and Engineering; the Office of Innovation and Collaboration; and the Office of Enterprise Services.
The new configuration enables the agency to be ready to quickly respond to changes in the threat environment. In addition, it can use existing technologies that can be adapted and leveraged to expedite the development of vital capabilities.
“We are engaging our DHS acquisition colleagues earlier in the R&D process to help pave the way for a successful transition of capabilities to our customers as well as to the homeland security marketplace,” said Bryan. “Our emphasis is on clarity, transparency and staying open to new ideas. Scientific and engineering excellence is at the core of everything we do.”
A three-pronged operating model blueprint focuses first on understanding customers’ needs through strategic and transparent engagement then leveraging S&T’s expertise in operational analysis and systems engineering to help customers refine their needs. Next, S&T applies a deliberate, team-based approach that leverages S&T’s full range of capabilities, beginning with seeking out ready-made or easily adaptable solutions that can be delivered quickly and cost-effectively. Finally, it includes an efficient, transparent and accountable execution when a solution must be adapted or developed.