DHS S&T awards first-ever SVIP Phase 5 funding

With an eye on adapting solutions to new applications, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate’s (S&T) expanded its Silicon Valley Innovation Program (SVIP), by offering its first-ever Phase 5 award to Tamr Government Solutions, based in Cambridge, MA, DHS announced June 15. The successful development of a fast and accurate high-tech solution to screen international travelers will now be applied to other operational challenges within DHS.

Tamr received the Phase 5 SVIP award of $813,000 to broaden the application of the automated solutions they developed during the first four phases of the SVIP process to enhance the Open Source Global Travel Assessment System (GTAS) for U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). CBP uses GTAS to provide foreign border security agencies the ability to screen international air travelers by matching inbound information with existing government data sources. By automating the process, agencies can quickly acquire a more informed view of a person of interest. Tamr’s software is now fully incorporated into the GTAS application.

“We validated the entity resolution capability that Tamr brought to the table through their work on GTAS and shared that knowledge broadly with our DHS operational components,” said Anil John, S&T’s SVIP technical director. “And now, SVIP’s new Phase 5 will enable CBP to apply this technology in an operational pilot to address their trade entity resolution and procurement optimization use cases.”

CBP’s Office of Trade is specifically interested in Tamr’s entity resolution capabilities to help establish a holistic view of trade entities to help predict and identify threats and opportunities to best deliver consequences and facilitate compliant trade. CBP’s Office of Procurement will use Tamr’s data visualization and machine learning capabilities to identify opportunities for efficiencies and cost savings among CBP’s contracts.

“This Phase 5 award reinforces the power of collaboration among start-ups, SVIP, and operational components like CBP,” said Melissa Oh, S&T’s SVIP managing director. “SVIP is excited to have partnered with Tamr to provide this novel solution to the federal government and the commercial sector.”

Source: DHS