On October 31, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security posted a request for information regarding new Centers of Excellence – CAOE and CINA. Responses are due by 11:30 a.m. Eastern on November 15.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Science and Technology Directorate (S&T), Office of University Programs (OUP), is requesting information from the scientific and educational communities regarding the continued utilization of Basic Ordering Agreements (BOAs) with current Centers of Excellence (COEs).
DHS S&T intends to fund projects within the scopes of work of existing and future COEs (see Exhibit 1 for COE subject matter areas) requiring a contracting vehicle. DHS S&T anticipates issuing five-year BOAs. The BOAs will be for homeland security mission-related unclassified and classified research, development analysis, and technical services requested by any DHS office or Component agency (Component) that is within the scope of each COE’s cooperative agreement.
The Homeland Security Act of 2002 granted the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) the authority to create university-based COEs using grants, cooperative agreements or contracts. The COEs have significant homeland security-related science, technology, engineering, and mathematics capabilities to provide technical services to DHS including: subject matter expertise, laboratories, engineering and other testing facilities, data bases, computer models, computer software and hardware, and analytical tools.
The COEs are directly aligned with one or more of the DHS Components, creating linkages between DHS and other customers, as well as providing enduring multi-disciplinary research, development, testing, evaluation, education and training capabilities for DHS and the nation. The COEs are authorized by Congress and chosen by the DHS Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) through a competitive selection process. The designation of “Center of Excellence” is awarded to a university that brings together leading experts and researchers from other institutions, agencies, laboratories, think tanks, and the private sector to conduct multidisciplinary research and education for homeland security solutions.
The S&T OUP’s mission is to maximize DHS’s return on investment in university-based research and education. OUP funds grants and cooperative agreements to the COEs to establish fundamental research and education programs in specific multi-disciplinary subject matter areas at each COE (see Exhibit 1 below). DHS S&T expects the universities that comprise the COEs to obtain additional sources of funding beyond OUP’s base funding in order to support more directed research, development, testing, evaluation, education and training. Other S&T Divisions and DHS Components frequently need to access the capabilities created by the COEs at the lead or partner universities, e.g. for directed research, analysis, technical services, both unclassified and classified, as well as DHS-specific education and training that cannot be performed under S&T’s grants and cooperative agreements. Through this RFI, DHS S&T is pursuing funding strategies to meet emerging requirements.
DHS S&T seeks responses on the use of 2 (two) Basic Ordering Agreements to accommodate DHS requirements for COE research, analysis, and technical services (unclassified and classified), as well as DHS-specific science and engineering education and training. DHS S&T anticipates awarding BOAs to each current and future COE research lead university, to be renewed once after five years, and again at the end of their periods of performance, both renewals being subject to suitable COE progress in research, development, test, evaluation, education and training. OUP will determine the need for a BOA for each COE research lead by matching university capabilities with DHS’s requirements and needs (S&T will address high priority requirements first).
Full information is available here.