DHS Selects Stevens Institute of Technology for Maritime Security Center of Excellence
In 2014, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate, selected Stevens Institute of Technology in its re-compete bid as the lead university in the Maritime Security Center (MSC) DHS S&T Center of Excellence (COE), formerly known as the Center for Secure and Resilient Maritime of Commerce (CSR) under the Maritime, Island, Remote and Extreme Environment Security (MIREES) COE. The award was conferred after a year-long competition that challenged the Center's researchers and its education staff to demonstrate the impact of their work and to articulate their vision for the next five years.
The MSC will provide education programs and conduct research to enhance Maritime Domain Awareness, and will expand its efforts to invent and deploy new technologies that will support day-to-day missions in a manner that also creates surging capabilities (e.g.,enhanced communications and sensing networks, reduced response time, enhanced workforce capabilities) in response to events of national significance and stakeholder needs.
The MSC's academic partners include Stevens Institute of Technology (Lead University), Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of Miami, University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez, Louisiana State University, Elizabeth City State University, University of Connecticut, and Florida Atlantic University.
In early 2007, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) number DHS-07-ST-061-003 soliciting proposals from academia for establishing a Center of Excellence for Maritime Security, Island and Extreme/Remote Environment Security. DHS also solicited proposals for establishing other Centers of Excellence for Border Security and Immigration; Explosives Detection, Mitigation and Response; Natural Disasters, Coast Infrastructure and Emergency Management; and Transportation Security. The Centers of Excellence program is managed by the Science and Technology Directorate's Office of University Programs at DHS. The purpose of these centers is summarized by the DHS award Press Release that states that “this program takes advantage of the unsurpassed research capabilities and intellectual capital of U.S. colleges and universities to fill knowledge and technology gaps for the department. By Congressional authorization, each Center will be responsible for conducting multidisciplinary research and developing education initiatives in areas important for homeland security. Homeland Security Department Names Academic Institutions to Lead New Centers of Excellence. DHS Feb. 26, 2008.
DHS selected Stevens Institute and University of Hawaii to co-lead the center, which “will be responsible for conducting research and developing new ways to strengthen Maritime Domain Awareness and safeguard populations and properties unique to U.S. islands, and remote and extreme environments. The University of Hawaii will lead research and education for maritime and island security, and Stevens Institute of Technology will lead research and education for port security.”
The National Center of Excellence for Maritime, Island & Remote/Extreme Environment Security supports DHS efforts under NSPD-41 / HSPD-13 (National Maritime Security Strategy, 21 December, 2004) to provide for the safe and secure use of our nation’s maritime domain (including island and extreme environments, and inland waterways), and a resilient MTS, through advancement of the relevant sciences and development of the new workforce. These efforts are specifically aligned to assist in the successful implementation of the elements of NSPD-41 / HSPD-13:
· Maritime Domain Awareness - the effective understanding of anything associated with the Maritime Domain that could impact the security, safety, economy, or environment of the United States.
· Global Maritime Intelligence Integration - uses existing capabilities to integrate all available intelligence regarding potential threats to U.S. interests in the Maritime Domain.
· Maritime Operational Threat Response - aims for coordinated U.S. Government response to threats against the US and its interests in the Maritime Domain by establishing roles and responsibilities.
· International Outreach and Coordination - provides a framework to coordinate all maritime security initiatives undertaken with foreign governments and international organizations, and solicits international support for enhanced maritime security.
· Maritime Infrastructure Recovery - recommends procedures and standards for the recovery of the maritime infrastructure following attack or similar disruption.
· MTS Security- responds to the President’s call for recommendations to improve the national and international regulatory framework regarding the maritime domain.
· Maritime Commerce Security - establishes a comprehensive plan to secure the maritime supply chain.
· Domestic Outreach - engages non-Federal input to assist with the development and implementation of maritime security policies resulting from NSPD-41/HSPD-13.
The Maritime Domain is defined as "All areas and things of, on, under, relating to, adjacent to, or bordering on a sea, ocean, or other navigable waterway, including all maritime-related activities, infrastructure, people, cargo, and vessels and other conveyances.