Request for Research Project Proposals #3: Customs and Border Protection

MSRDC and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) Office of University Programs (OUP) are please to release a new Request for Research Project Proposals (RRPP).

Any questions about the proposal or process are due to the MSRDC’s Business Development Team at BusDev@MSRDConsortium.org by Friday July 26, 2019 at 5:00pm.

Note: Your institution must be a member of the Consortium before applying to this announcement.


Project Title: Utilizing Forecasting Models for Pest or Agricultural Quarantine Smuggling Trends 

Project Number: W911SR-14-2-0001 RPP-1914

Introduction & Background

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) Office of University Programs (OUP). The Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) is 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.

Animal agriculture hazards include, but are not limited to, foot and mouth disease, avian influenza, and classical swine fever. Plant pests include foreign noxious weeds such as hogweed and insects such as long-horned beetles related to the Asian long-horned beetle that has caused millions of dollars in losses in numerous communities in the United States. Fruit flies, such as the Mediterranean fruit fly, if introduced, would cause significant direct damage to U.S. fruit crops and have major impacts on export markets. CBP seeks innovative uses of the data they collect during port-of-entry inspections to better predict and mitigate pest threats approaching our shores.

Scope/Program Goals:

Representative research questions of interest to CBP (not listed in priority order):

  • Can price-forecasting models (e.g. Box Jenkins method) be used to anticipate seasonal/situational increases (or decreases) in pest or prohibited item encounters?
  • What other techniques can be applied to support CBP resource allocation decisions that will improve current operations, both in terms of increased interceptions while lowering the operating cost to both government and industry?

Technology Readiness Levels (learn more)

  • Technology Readiness Level 1: Basic principles observed and reported
  • Technology Readiness Level 2: Technology concept and/or application formulated
  • Technology Readiness Level 3: Analytical and experimental critical function and/or characteristic proof of concept
  • Technology Readiness Level 4: Component and/or breadboard validation in a laboratory environment
  • Technology Readiness Level 5: Component and/or breadboard validation in a relevant environment
  • Technology Readiness Level 6: System/subsystem model or prototype demonstration in a relevant environment
  • Technology Readiness Level 7: System prototype demonstration in an operational environment
  • Technology Readiness Level 8: Actual system completed and qualified through test and demonstration
  • Technology Readiness Level 9: Actual system proven through successful mission operations

About the Department of Homeland Security (DHS)

The Department of Homeland Security has a vital mission: to secure the nation from the many threats we face. This requires the dedication of more than 240,000 employees in jobs that range from aviation and border security to emergency response, from cybersecurity analyst to chemical facility inspector. Our duties are wide-ranging, and our goal is clear – keeping America safe. 

About the Science & Technology (S&T) Directorate

Technology and threats evolve rapidly in today’s ever-changing environment. Researchers test non-hazardous training aids in large crowd settings. The Science and Technology Directorate’s Explosives Detection Canine program helps detection canine teams identify new explosive compounds through non-hazardous training aids and increase their proficiency through realistic self-assessment and training events across the country. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) monitors those threats and rapidly capitalizes on technological advancements, developing solutions and bridging capability gaps at a pace that mirrors the speed of life