Dan Cotter, executive director of the Office of Science and Engineering at the Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate, said the Interschutz 2022 forum in Germany served as a platform for DHS to exhibit its latest research and development projects for first responders.
In an opinion article published Monday, Cotter said among the programs highlighted at the international event is the Virginia Smart Community Testbed, a public-private partnership for testing and piloting emerging and smart technologies.
DHS S&T demonstrated to the international first responder community new testbed technologies including smart building sensors for detecting fire ignition and environmental threats in large venues.
“In the future, the public-private partnership that has enabled the VA Testbed will expand its scope, opening hubs in Alaska, North Carolina, and 14 other locations across the U.S. I’m excited about the future possibilities that this partnership model opens up to us,” Cotter added.
The U.S. delegation also attended the annual meeting of the International Forum to Advance First Responder Innovation, which brings together government leaders from 15 countries and the European Commission to advance new innovations for first responders worldwide.
“Our participation in IFAFRI gives S&T a voice in influencing the global market to develop affordable solutions for first responders, to work with the international first responder community to define common capability gaps and to collaborate on R&D to make first responders worldwide safer, more effective, and more efficient at their jobs,” Cotter said.