The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) announced on Monday a new organizational structure that reorganizes the directorate into four primary offices and places an emphasis on improving S&T’s speed.
The new structure includes four distinct offices that will also work collaboratively:
- The Office of Mission & Capability Support will conduct the majority of program management in support of borders, immigration, maritime, first responders, detection capabilities, and physical and cyber security.
- The Office of Engineering & Science will include operations and requirements analysis, systems engineering, standards, technology scouting, test & evaluation, and transition.
- The Office of Innovation & Collaboration will focus on industry and international partnerships, and include such efforts as the Silicon Valley Innovation Program, Federally Funded Research & Development Centers, university programs and collaboration with national labs.
- The Office of Enterprise Services will include all of S&T’s support functions such as administration, communications, finance and budget, and the chief information office.
This replaces S&T’s old structure, which was divided into the six groups of first responders, borders and maritime security, cybersecurity, chemical and biological defense, explosives, and resilience.
“We are improving our R&D business practices to make it easier for industry, including the start-up community, to work with us,” said William Bryan, senior official performing the duties of the under secretary for science and technology. “Our emphasis is on clarity, transparency, and staying open to new ideas. Scientific and engineering excellence is at the core of everything we do.”
The “revitalization” also includes a new ”three-pronged operating model blueprint,” which first focuses on understanding customer needs, uses a team-based approach that first seeks out existing or easily-adaptable solutions for those needs, and shows transparency and accountability in execution.
Along with the new structure and business model, Bryan also expressed the importance of “engaging our DHS acquisition colleagues earlier in the R&D process” and highlighted the need for S&T to change in order to “get ahead of threats cycles and keep pace with rapid innovation.”
“The new structure enables the agency to be more agile and responsive, ready to move quickly to respond to changes in the threat environment, and to make use of existing technologies that can be adapted and leveraged to expedite the development of vital capabilities,” S&T said.