The homeland security industry has experienced sizeable growth over the past several years as companies have sprung up to meet the need for enhanced security of the nations borders, critical assets and people. While the industry is expected to maintain its growth, some sectors can expect more funding than others, according to the Homeland Security and Entrepreneurship Center (HSIEC) at Northwestern University in the U.S.A., an organization formed to catalyze the development of homeland defense and security technologies, products and services.
"Homeland Security is a dynamic marketplace that is still developing, and funding organizations are taking a risk-based approach to backing homeland security companies,"said HSIEC Director Bret Johnson. "Its important to understand which sectors are being given the highest priority before looking for funding."
According to Johnson, there are six technologies that are likely to advance in 2007 (see below).
Homeland security technologies that are close to deployment. Potential technologies with year or multiple year development cycles will receive less attention than new innovations that piggy back on existing systems or complement existing systems without substantial disruption.
Innovations that improve the security of critical infrastructure (transportation network; critical assets like power, water and food) but also have a dual/commercial benefit of providing operational efficiencies. For example, software technologies that provide tools for emergency planning and response, and also have the commercial benefit of helping to manage the operation of transportation systems will receive greater consideration.
Intelligence gathering, information analysis and data analytics tools. There is great interest in companies that provide new tools to integrate and connect various sources of information and data for predictive modeling, threat analysis and real time collaboration. There also is demand for new hardware for monitoring assets and information.
Products and services that enhance emergency preparedness, planning and response for catastrophic threats including influenza epidemics and natural disasters. Companies that help manage property and transportation assets as well as improve interoperable communications should find some traction.
Cybersecurity products that help improve the security of the nations existing cyber infrastructure. A strong focus is placed on identifying and assessing vulnerability and protecting the operation of telecommunication, banking and finance, and large scale processing infrastructure assets.
Chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosives monitoring products, including sensors and detection devices that provide high reliability and quick detection or analysis. In contrast to the enar term requirements of other programs, the Domestic Nuclear Detection Office currently is seeking next generation solutions for neclear detection systems.
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