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Uncle Sam wants you if you can contribute to biometrics for travel, shipping

Uncle Sam wants you if you can contribute to biometrics for travel, shipping

As a venture capital firm partner once said, inspiration is essential for business success, but execution is essentialer (VC really does have its own language).

With that in mind: Officials at the Science and Technology Directorate, within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, are trying to make it easy for biometrics providers to work with them. In fact, they have drawn a map of sorts.

The directorate is Homeland Security’s lab. People there perform research and development, test ideas and products and evaluate goods pitched for making travel and shipping safer. An increasing amount of work is being done on face and fingerprint biometrics.

Officials and staff already work with other government agencies (14 domestic and an unknown number of foreign), businesses, academics and private researchers to fulfill the department’s mandate.

Can Homeland Security pull it off – roll out a red carpet and invite people in without tying them down in red tape and government’s plodding pace? Unknown, but execution here likely would pay sizable dividends.

It wants more partners because more minds mean more innovation and more departmental innovation could mean fewer terrorist and criminal events.

Thus, the directorate’s partnership guide.

Its staff have five primary areas they focus on, and the guide spells out needs the staff have in each of those areas. Similarly, the document sketches “partnership pathways,” opportunities to collaborate with the agency.

Biometrics and identity management are explicitly noted under the heading of border security.

Businesses wishing to sponsor R&D are welcome, and the guides talks about how to go about it.

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