Enabling homeland security solutions for emergency responder communities
In 2008, NWRTC was established at the request of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology (S&T) Directorate to bridge the need for unbiased technical support at the state and local level with DHS technology development efforts. That year, former NWRTC director, Steve Stein, the late Major General, Tim Lowenberg, and current director, Ann Lesperance, hosted a summit that brought together representatives from eleven western states and senior officials from DHS, U.S. Department of Energy, PNNL, and Idaho National Laboratory to discuss this new partnership model to address homeland security challenges.
Over the years, NWRTC’s focus has evolved through forward-leaning discussions about emerging and disruptive technology. Across all domains—air, land, sea, cyber—the center continues to serve as a primary resource for working with first responders, emergency management, public safety professionals, academia, and the private sector to define and prioritize technology needs.
We aim to serve the region's and the nation's preparedness and response communities by:
- Serving as a primary resource for information on homeland security solutions, policies, and procedures.
- Accelerating the development and deployment of homeland security solutions for the region, and accelerating technology transfer to the national user community.
- Fostering a collaborative spirit across agencies and jurisdictions.
- Serving as a conduit between DHS and the broader technology development community to communicate technology gaps and requirements.
NWRTC works with regional emergency management, public safety professionals, and the private sector to:
- Define and prioritize technology needs.
- Coordinate and lead regional efforts to test, demonstrate, and deploy new and emerging technologies.
- Conduct forums focusing on prevention and emergency preparedness, response, and recovery.
- Provide information and expertise on new and emerging technologies, including chem-bio detection, analysis and forensics, radiological detection, information analytics, explosives detection, and situational awareness.
NWRTC is the gateway to PNNL subject matter experts who can help answer technology questions. Expertise is shared by coordinating collaborations, training, deployment, and/or demonstrations. Subject matter experts can also make connections with the appropriate federal or state agency. Current areas of interest and opportunity for collaboration include:
- Cybersecurity workforce development
- Risk resource modeling
- Technology test beds
- Operational field assessments
- Technology evaluators