HAMILTON, NJ – The U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has awarded the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness (NJOHSP) $1,701,657 for research and development aimed at advancing broadband communications technologies for first responders. NJOHSP’s effort is a collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) Lincoln Laboratory.

NIST reviewed 162 proposals from a diverse pool of national and international applicants across industry, academia, and public safety organizations. The award to NJOHSP was 1 of 33 selected projects that have the potential to greatly enhance public safety communications and operations.

“The ability of public safety networks to effectively transmit data is an important area of significant growth in the public safety community,” said NJOHSP Acting Director Jared Maples. “Our testing will be performed on JerseyNet—New Jersey’s deployable wireless data network dedicated to public safety—and will accelerate technology innovation for network providers, application providers, and public safety users.”

“New Jersey has long been at the forefront of public safety technology innovation,” said NJOHSP Director of Policy and Planning Eric Tysarczyk. “This collaboration with MIT, using our JerseyNet network, will provide valuable insight into the continued development of newer technologies for first responders.”

JerseyNet, a deployable wireless network dedicated for public safety, was developed through NJOHSP’s past collaboration with the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration and its First Responder Network Authority. In February 2017, NJOHSP and MIT teamed up on a grant proposal under NIST’s 2017 Public Safety Innovation Accelerator Program (PSIAP). The PSIAP was established by NIST in support of the emerging Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network and in recognition of the urgent need for first responders to have access to the same broadband communications and innovative technologies that consumers on commercial networks now expect.

“Through this grant, we’re excited to work directly with both the public safety and analytics communities, so we can develop a dataset that has the diversity of features that researchers need while supporting the scenarios that public safety wants,” said Andrew Weinert, a staff member from MIT’s Lincoln Laboratory.

The New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness (OHSP), a Cabinet-level agency, was created in 2006. The Director serves as the Governor’s Homeland Security Advisor, and is responsible for leading and coordinating the state’s counterterrorism, cybersecurity, and emergency preparedness efforts, while building resiliency throughout the state across all levels of government and the private sector. OHSP oversees and distributes discretionary state and federal homeland security and emergency preparedness funds on behalf of New Jersey. More information about OHSP can be found at www.njhomelandsecurity.gov.

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