The Department of Homeland Security was formed in the wake of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, as part of a determined national effort to safeguard the United States against terrorism. The Department became the third-largest Federal department, bringing together 22 different Federal agencies, each with a role in this effort. DHS missions include preventing terrorism and enhancing security; managing our borders; administering immigration laws; securing cyberspace; and ensuring disaster resilience. Hundreds of thousands of people from across the federal government, state, local, tribal, and territorial governments, the private sector, and other nongovernmental organizations are responsible for executing these missions. These are the people who regularly interact with the public, who are responsible for public safety and security, who own and operate our nation’s critical infrastructures and services, who perform research and develop technology, and who keep watch, prepare for, and respond to emerging threats and disasters.
The DHS Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) is the primary research and development arm of the Department of Homeland Security and manages science and technology research, from development through transition, for the Department's operational components and first responders to protect the homeland. Established by Congress in 2003, S&T's mission is to deliver effective and innovative insight, methods and solutions for the critical needs of the Homeland Security Enterprise. As DHS's primary research and development (R&D) arm, S&T manages science and technology research, from development through transition, for the department's operational components and the nation's first responders. S&T's engineers, scientists and researchers work closely with industry and academic partners to ensure R&D investments address the high-priority needs of today and the growing demands of the future. From border security and biological defense to cybersecurity and explosives detection, S&T is at the forefront of integrating R&D across the public and private sectors and the international community. By working directly with responders and component partners across the nation, S&T strives to provide advanced capabilities and analytics to better prevent, respond to and recover from all hazards and homeland security threats.
Other DHS Components that perform or acquire scientific research and subsequently release the results as peer-reviewed articles in scholarly journals and other similar publications include the Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), the U.S. Secret Service (USSS), and Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
In response to the February 2013 OSTP Memorandum, "Increasing Access to the Results of Federally Funded Scientific Research," DHS developed the DHS Public Access Plan, and intends to make available to the public peer-reviewed scholarly publications and digitally formatted scientific data that are the results of DHS R&D funding in an effort to promote the development of a Homeland Security-related industrial base. Public access will make available the releasable results of government funded research to the general public and to enable DHS Operational Components and directorates to better share information and to encourage public-private collaboration.