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Dr. Douglas Maughan, DHS S&T, describes mechanisms for transitioning security research to the market. Photo by the CyberWire.

Transitioning research to the market.

One of the things the US Department of Homeland Security's Science and Technology Directorate takes to heart is transitioning the results of research to products and solutions. Dr. Douglas Maughan talked about how the S&T Directorate works to move research across the proverbial "valley of death" and into the hands of practitioners and operators. (And, of course, into the market.)

Many in industry are unfamiliar with those aspects of the Department of Homeland Security's mission that charge it with responsibility for fostering legitimate commerce. Maughan sought to redress that by reviewing a range of programs the Department's Science and Technology Directorate has to support and transition cyber security research to the market. Federal science and technology managers, as well as Federal acquisition executives and industry leaders, have for years noted, and complained of, a "valley of death" in which research, having been brought to the point of technology demonstration, languishes as it falls between science and technology programs and acquisition programs of record. The Homeland Security S&T Directorate has, from its inception, designed its programs to cross that gap.

Maughan described the programs in place to encourage industry involvement with the Department. He stressed that the DHS S&T cybersecurity portfolio is not a basic research portfolio. It's strongly use-inspired, focused on transition, with many channels designed to move technology not just to Government users, but to the broader market. The takeaway for industry (and its investors) should be this: engage with the S&T Directorate.

He also clarified something: "Silicon Valley" is a metonym. It stands for the technology industry. As Maughan pointed out, the S&T Directorate is well aware that not all, not even most, innovation in cybersecurity occurs in the vicinity of San Jose. They'll be happy to talk to you whether you're from Tucson or Tel Aviv.