Homeland Security, Research, Testing, Evaluation, and Demonstration of Technologies

To provide funding and/or property for the purpose of conducting research, testing, evaluation, and demonstration of national preparedness and homeland security technologies intended to identify, counter, or respond to terrorist threats.

The DHS S&T First Responders Group (FRG) utilizes
grants and cooperative agreements to enhance safety in the first responder community by supporting the research, acquisition of knowledge, and the development of technology, materials, processes, methods, devices, or techniques to support advancement in equipment or technologies.

The purpose of these grants and cooperative agreements is to garner high quality, advanced concepts research and development efforts related to important scientific problems and capability gaps identified by the first responder community that could lead to significant public benefits.

Agency - Department of Homeland Security

The Department of Homeland Security has three primary missions: Prevent terrorist attacks within the United States, reduce America's vulnerability to terrorism and minimize the damage from potential attacks and natural disasters.

Website Address


Selected Recipients for this Program

RecipientAmount Start DateEnd Date
University Of Illinois $ 511,433   2021-07-152023-07-14
University Of Nebraska $ 351,728   2021-07-152023-07-14
Florida Atlantic University $ 150,000   2021-09-152022-09-14
Association Of Public-safety-communications Officials-international, Inc. $ 249,359   2014-09-082019-03-07
Association Of Public-safety-communications Officials-international, Inc. $ 449,950   2014-09-082018-09-07
University Of Maryland, College Park-$ 1,469   2009-02-202018-08-08
University Of Maryland, College Park $ 798,316   2010-10-012018-08-08
J.g.w. (international) Ltd. $ 21,632   2016-06-082018-04-11
Corporation Of Mercer University, The-$ 86,125   2014-08-072017-12-05
North Carolina State University $ 649,657   2015-09-012017-09-30

Program Accomplishments

Fiscal Year 2016: 1) APCO provided support on the P25 CAP reorganization for DHS review and approval and a recommendation to describe the relationships among the new user-based Leadership Group and its committee structure, the TIA TR-8 process and organization, the P25 CAP process, and the national public safety associations and federal entities involved, as well as the operational aspects of the future process and organization. In addition, to providing support services for Regional Planning Committees (RPCs) and the National Regional Planning Council (NRPC); they restructured and updated the Computer Assisted Pre-Coordination Resource and Database (CAPRAD) System which aids in the management of the public safety radio frequency spectrum. APCO International provided a centralized forum for information sharing directly related to the first responder community and provides opportunities to analyze and correlate information among the first responder agencies. Additionally, APCO International provided: ? Migrated existing CAPRAD to new platform to meet user requirements; ? Added security features and improved user friendly interface at the request of users; ? Developed a single central repository to address the 800 MHz regional planning committee?s request to have access to an adjacent region?s planning process or applications; ? Incorporated part of the NCC?s recommendation to establish a nationwide CAPRAD database that all 700 MHz regions could utilize as a pre-planning and pre-coordination tool for 700 MHz frequency band public safety band applicants. ? Completed the cost analysis and developed the best system upgrade options for the CAPRAD program and meeting objectives 1 ? 16 from the original grant. 2) Both award recipients completed the material testing, material selection, and garment design for the prototype base ensemble. Due to unexpected delays in the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 1975 certification process by their industrial partners, garments were not NFPA certified or manufactured in FY 2016 for distribution to first responders for wear testing and evaluation. This is anticipated to occur in FY 2017. 3) Testing of baseline turnout gear to characterize its? performance was accomplished for the Smoke and Particulate Resistant Structural Firefighter Turnout (SRT) project. The main goal for this project is to develop a prototype firefighter turnout ensemble system to enhance protection against smoke and toxic vapors during and after fire suppression missions, while maintaining functionality and not degrading comfort. Prototype designs that incorporates features to prevent smoke and particulate infiltration through the turnout gear interfaces were developed. Initial testing of one prototype design showed superior performance for particulate infiltration compared to the baseline turnout gear. Work is continuing to refine the prototype designs. 4) A new project to provide ?Respiration Protection for Firefighters during Overhaul Operations? was initiated. The project goal is to develop a respiratory protection system for use by firefighters during overhaul operations. After a structure fire has been suppressed firefighters conduct overhaul operations to extinguish any smoldering hot spots. Initially firefighters wear their self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA), but commonly swap the SCBA for a particulate filter mask when the carbon monoxide (CO) concentration drops below 35 parts per million (ppm). However, particulate masks do not provide protection against chemical vapors and there is no correlation between the CO concentration and that of other toxic contaminants. The filter that will be developed will be available for use with equipment from any manufacturer through the use of a standard STANAG 40 mm connector. The goal of the new system is to be much lighter and more comfortable than an SCBA, durable, require minimum maintenance, have low operating cost, and be reasonably priced. 5) The text to 9-1-1 project developed technology solutions to initiate a screen with emergency 9-1-1 text on a translator?s computer along with a VoIP (voice over internet protocol) voice call to connect the translator and responding 9-1-1 operator in real time. An application program interface (API) was developed to enable the connection of language service providers (LSPs) who conduct real time translations of texts and the 9-1-1 center operators who receive the texts directly on their screens from the wireless carriers. Machine translation of emergency texts was developed concurrently, and will be benchmarked for performance against human translators. 6) National Information Sharing Consortium (NISC) accomplished: ? Kick Off Meeting and Work Plan completed for grant award made at end of FY15 (9/14/15) ? Conducted CHECKPOINT 16 on May 11, 2016, a multi-national information sharing exercise that tested and evaluated situational awareness and decision support tools for the emergency management and homeland security communities. Key highlights included: o Participation from over 60 individuals from local, state, and federal government agencies, state National Guard units, private sector companies, Canadian participants, and nonprofit organizations, demonstrating broad interest in the exercise and information sharing tools featured. Following the exercise, several participants indicated interest in adopting tools into their own organizations; o Development and use of the Battle Rhythm Manager, a virtual exercise facilitation tool that was made available to all NISC members for their own exercise purposes and was an important facilitation tool during the January 23, 2017 New Orleans Flood Experiment. o Development of a preliminary plan for implementing REBOUND 17, a multi-phase information sharing exercise to increase awareness of and evaluate information sharing tools and best practices for the emergency management and homeland security community. ? Added three information sharing tools to the NISC Member Portal, including the Battle Rhythm Widget, the CHECKPOINT 16 Exercise Viewer, and the Mutual Aid Resource Planner and providing trainings on how to integrate tools into members? operational environments. ? Hired NISC?s Executive Director, to serve in a volunteer capacity to lead fundraising efforts, NISC operations, and strategic activities to ensure long-term sustainability of the NISC. ? Received a Gold Sponsorship from G&H International Services, Inc. to provide continued staff and technical support for the organization. Fiscal Year 2017: The Smoke and Particulate Resistant Structural Firefighter Turnout gear should be developed and commercialized. A) Congress legislated P25 CAP to ensure LMR equipment complies with P25 standards for interoperability across suppliers. The P25 CAP is a partnership of DHS?s Office for Interoperability and Compatibility (OIC), industry, and the first responder community. The initial program focused on the Common Air Interface, which allows for over-the-air compatibility between radios and tower equipment. To continue improving the P25 CAP process, OIC developed a Compliance Assessment Bulletin (CAB) for testing of the Inter Sub-system Interface (ISSI) as part of the P25 CAP. However, P25 CAP recognized laboratories have been reluctant to expand their testing beyond the Common Air Interface (CAI) to include the ISSI. In part, the reluctance can be attributed to a seeming lack of financial benefit for the labs to invest in the resources needed to conduct ISSI testing. More recently, OIC has initiated the development of a CAB for testing of the Console Sub-System Interface (CSSI). It is believed that the laboratory requirements would be very similar for a participating laboratory to conduct testing for both of these interfaces. OIC has an opportunity to effect change in this area. OIC is interested in the capability of testing and evaluating ISSI and CSSI equipment from the various vendors. OIC will share its existing knowledge on the topic and refer to others with ISSI/CSSI testing expertise and work closely with the P25 CAP Advisory Panel members and other US Federal law enforcement organizations. NFPA 1975 certification should be obtained by the industrial partners for both of the base ensemble award recipients. The garments that were developed under the awards for both recipients should be manufactured and distributed to first responders for wear testing and evaluation. In addition, in support of the First Responders Group Next Generation First Responder (NGFR) APEX program, additional base ensemble garments have been requested from one award recipient for use by first responders during the NFGR?s ?Spiral 2? exercise that is scheduled to occur during FY 2017. Work on the SRT project is continuing. This includes testing by firefighters to determine what prototype turnout configuration meets the requirements of the project, while minimizing any change to normal structural firefighter concept of operations. This concept garment will then be submitted by the award recipient?s industrial partner for NFPA 1971 certification. It is anticipated that the development of the SRT turnout and selection of the desired prototype configuration will occur in FY 2017. NFPA 1971 certification and commercialization by the award recipient?s industrial partner is anticipated to occur in FY 2018. Testing and characterization of potential filter media for use in the ?Respiration Protection for Firefighters during Overhaul Operations? project will continue during FY 2017. Both particulate filtration media and charcoal filtration (to remove hazardous vapors) will be investigated. The goal of the project is to meet or exceed High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) standards for particulates and Permissible Exposure Limits (PEL) for hazardous vapors. B) National Information Sharing Consortium (NISC) ? Update the NISC Strategic Plan to cover the next 3-5 years and focus on strategic priorities to increase revenue and expand business opportunities. ? Increase NISC membership through outreach and engagement in exercises (e.g. CHECKPOINT 17) ? Update the NISC publications and guidance for the emergency management and healthcare communities. ? Continue to solicit sponsorships for financial support from other information sharing and geospatial information systems organizations. C) National Alliance for Public Safety GIS (NAPSG) Assess the geospatial information sharing capabilities of the GIS Inventory, and its integration, interoperability, and scalability with the DHS Geospatial Information Infrastructure (GII) and other existing capabilities ? Identify common mutual aid information to be shared across organizations ? Identify and develop guidance for Mutual Aid Resource management dashboards ? Test interoperability and integration of existing mutual aid technologies and standards-based tools D) Deliver a protocol for answering text-to-911 calls that includes scripts and best practices necessary for effective, accurate and efficient text-to- 911 provisioning. Conduct pilot testing of the technology solution to validate and refine the preliminary text-to-9-1-1 translation operational requirements and to collect data on the number, length, and complexity of text-to-911 interactions in Spanish. The pilot is critical to ensure that all overall project deliverables are informed by real world Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) input and field tested to validate assumptions and thresholds. The Text-to-911 specification and standard will be finalized, and a cost model template and cost basis will be developed. Fiscal Year 2018: The overall program goal is to facilitate user input into public safety land mobile radio interoperability standards and compliance processes and support planned utilization of the public safety radio frequency spectrum. (NISC) ? Conduct an information sharing exercise to test situational awareness and decision support tools with engagement from the first responder community and homeland security enterprise. ? Hire a NISC?s Executive Director to lead fundraising efforts, NISC operations, and strategic activities to ensure long-term sustainability. ? Solicit corporate sponsorships to reach goal of self-sustainment.

Uses and Use Restrictions

Funding is used for labor and materials in support of basic efforts supporting the purpose of this grant.

Refer to program guidance.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

States, local governments, private, public, profit or nonprofit organizations, Indian Tribal governments, or individuals specified by U.S.

Appropriation Statute, including U.


and international institutions of higher education and educational laboratories.

Beneficiary Eligibility

Federal, State, and local governments, private, public, profit or nonprofit organizations, Indian tribal governments, and individuals.


May be required by the U.S. Statute, regulation, or program guidance. 2 CFR 200, Subpart E - Cost Principles applies to this program.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

Preapplication coordination is not applicable.

Environmental impact information is not required for this program.

This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.


Application Procedures

2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards applies to this program. Application deadline and other information are contained in the application/program guidance.

Award Procedures

Applications or plans are reviewed by DHS program and administrative staff. Any issues or concerns noted in the application will be negotiated with the successful applicant prior to the award being issued.


Contact the headquarters or regional office, as appropriate, for application deadlines.


Homeland Security Act of 2002, Public Law 107-296, 6 U.S.C 308(b(1)(c); Implementing Recommendation of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007, Section 1901, Public Law 110-53; Science and Technology ? Management and Administration, Public Law 113-76.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

Refer to program guidance document.





Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

Statutory formulas are not applicable to this program. This program has no matching requirements. Some - see program guidance document. MOE requirements are not applicable to this program.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Refer to program guidance. Awards are subject to the Cash Management Improvement Act for payment and/or reimbursement of expenditures. See the following for information on how assistance is awarded/released: Refer to program guidance.

Post Assistance Requirements


Refer to program guidance.

Refer to program guidance.

Refer to program guidance.

Refer to program guidance.

Refer to program guidance.


In accordance with the provisions of 2 CFR 200, Subpart F - Audit Requirements, non-Federal entities that expend financial assistance of $750,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Non-Federal entities that expend less than $750,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in 2 CFR 200.503. These audits are due to the cognizant Federal agency, submitted through the Federal Audit Clearinghouse, not later than nine months after the end of the grantees fiscal year.


Grant records shall be retained for a period of three years from the day the recipient submits its final expenditure report. If any litigation, claim, negotiation, audit, or other action involving the records has been started before the expiration of the 3-year period, the records must be retained until completion of the action and resolution of all issues which arise from it, or until the end of the regular 3-year period, whichever is later. Grant records include financial and program/progress reports, support documents, statistical records, and other documents that support the activity and/or expenditure of the recipient or sub-recipient under the award.

Financial Information

Account Identification

70-0800-0-1-999 - DUNS Number: 009095365.


(Salaries) FY 16 $1,548,332; FY 17 est $2,716,638; and FY 18 est $2,000,000

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

Refer to program guidance.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

OMB Circulars Nos. A-21, Cost Principles for Educational Institutions, A-87, Cost Principles for State, Local and Indian Tribal Governments, A-102 Grants and Cooperative Agreements with State and Local Governments, A-110, Uniform Administrative Requirements for Grants and Other Agreements With Institutions of Higher Education, Hospitals and Nonprofit Organizations, and A-133 Audits of States, Local Governments, and Nonprofit Organizations, in addition to program regulations, guidelines, DHS policy and procedures.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office


Headquarters Office

First Responders Group, S&T 245 Murray Lane, S.W., Washington, District of Columbia 20548 Phone: (202) 254-5604, (202) 254-6748

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

Refer to the program guidance for information on criteria for selecting proposals.

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