Friday, September 28, 2012

Secretary Napolitano tours homeland security foundation on Long Island and promotes public-private partnerships

Secretary Napolitano tours homeland security foundation on Long Island and promotes public-private partnerships

Napolitano flanked by
Rep. Steve Israel (left) and
Foundation Pres. Frank Otto
The Applied Science Foundation for Homeland Security, a member of the Long Island Forum for Technology (LIFT) family of companies, hosted DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano on Sept. 24, where she emphasized the importance of shared responsibility in homeland security -- by private citizens, local first responders and government.

The secretary visited the Foundation in Bethpage, NY, to learn more about one of the nation’s most successful non-governmental, public-private partnerships.

Napolitano is the first member of President Obama’s cabinet to visit the Foundation since its founding. The Foundation’s mission is to help protect the U.S. from man-made and natural disasters. The Foundation accomplishes this goal by bringing together, and working with, the public, private and academic sectors in its state-of-the-art homeland security C4I facility to develop and commercialize first responder-driven products and technologies.

“We recognized early on that the homeland security enterprise requires everyone working together,” Foundation President Frank Otto said, in welcoming Napolitano. “That is why we have forged valuable partnerships with, among others, both national and local organizations such as the Long Island Software and Technology Network (LISTnet), the Long Island Capital Alliance (LICA) and Accelerate Long Island to advance all of our missions.”

The Secretary’s visit began with a tour of Nassau County’s Office of Emergency Management (OEM) which is housed at the Foundation’s Morrelly Center. While there, Nassau Count OEM Commissioner Craig Craft provided an overview of the OEM and its working partnership with the Foundation.

Napolitano next toured the Foundation’s Cyber Operations Integrated Network Facility (COIN), a state-of-the-art homeland security C41 facility where technologies for homeland security applications are being developed and tested. While in the COIN, she met with representatives of DHS S&T and some of the Foundation’s resident companies, also known as “Resident Research Partners.” She also saw demonstrations of several DHS-funded technologies, including: VCORE’s Regional Common Operating Picture (RCOP), which is a four-dimensional situational awareness technology that provides real-time information to first responders in the event of a regional or local catastrophic event, and Applied Visions’ WildCAT program which is designed to detect, locate and analyze wireless cyber security threats and vulnerabilities. The DHS secretary also learned about Project SAFEguard, a program designed to enhance the emergency management programs of schools, municipalities and other entities.

In her remarks, she expressed that homeland security should be non-partisan and that the mission is to maximize our ability to minimize risk. She noted the importance of the front line being well-equipped and empowered. Most importantly, the Secretary expressed DHS’s emphasis on the nation’s core critical infrastructure, in particular stating the need to make sure the U.S. doesn’t have big gaps where the electrical grid and infrastructure are concerned.

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