Homeland Security, Israeli Partners Team to Improve Cyber Resilience

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The joint initiative will be managed by the Israel-U.S. Binational Industrial Research and Development Foundation.

The Department of Homeland Security announced Thursday that its Science and Technology directorate—in concert with the Israel National Cyber Directorate—has initiated a joint cyber program aimed at improving the cyber resilience of critical infrastructure in both countries.

The Israel-U.S. Binational Industrial Research and Development Cyber program, also known as BIRD Cyber, seeks to use funding to develop emerging technologies of mutual benefit. The announcement coincides with BIRD Cyber’s first request for proposals specifically seeking collaborative projects between U.S. and Israeli entities that can ultimately address mission-critical cybersecurity needs. The joint initiative will provide grants of up to $1.5 million per project and “thereby fund up to 50% of research and development budgets.”

“Our department is committed to direct operational collaboration with our international partners and the private sector to address the most pressing cybersecurity challenges,” DHS Under Secretary for Policy Robert Silvers said in a statement. “Through the BIRD Cyber program, DHS and INCD will harness the innovation and ingenuity of the Israeli and American technology sectors to drive security and resilience.”

The RFP seeks “cooperative projects between two companies, or between a company and a university or research institution—one from the U.S. and one from Israel.”

Projects should lead to demonstrations and pilot programs in four areas: secured architecture for protecting core operational processes; real-time risk assessment solutions for small-to-medium sized airports or seaports; resilience center pilots for small and medium sized businesses and enterprises, and advanced data fusion and analytics.

“We look forward to continuing to build the relationship between DHS and INCD to implement this new U.S.-Israel cybersecurity initiative that addresses security needs shared by both nations,” INCD Director General Gaby Portnoy said. “The joint investment in public-private partnerships should advance innovative and jointly developed technologies to bring the next generation solutions for national level cybersecurity.”

The deadline for submitting executive summaries for the RFP is Nov. 15, 2022. Awards are expected in March 2023.