Start-Ups Earn DHS Funds for Security R&D

Wednesday, February 22, 2017 @ 12:02 PM gHale


Five start-up companies gained just about $1 million in funding to continue research and development for cybersecurity innovations.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) issued $999,780 in awards to the five companies advancing to Phase 2 of the Silicon Valley Innovation Program (SVIP).

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The work falls under the SVIP Other Transaction Solicitation (OTS) aimed at non-traditional performers to offer solutions to some of the toughest threats facing DHS and the homeland security mission. The Phase 2 projects earned their awards through Securing the Internet of Things (IoT), Solicitation Number: HSHQDC-16-R-00035. While the call closed in December 2016, the companies are part of the first active cohort for IoT Systems Security.

“I am proud of the success of this program,” said Acting DHS Under Secretary for Science and Technology Dr. Robert Griffin. “We have made it easier for start-ups to better understand the DHS mission and challenges so DHS S&T can benefit from the talent and creativity of the innovation community.”

The five companies receiving Phase 2 awards are:
• Factom, Inc., Austin, TX — $199,980 to authenticate devices to prevent spoofing and ensure data integrity by leveraging the blockchain
• Ionic Security, Inc., Atlanta, GA — $199,800 to apply a distributed data protection model to solve the authentication, detection and confidentiality challenges that impact distributed IoT devices
• Machine-to-Machine Intelligence Corporation (M2Mi), Moffett Field, CA — $200,000 to create a deployable open source version of the SPECK cryptographic protocol to address IoT security by making a light weight crypto package that can be run on IoT devices
• Pulzze Systems, Inc., Santa Clara, CA — $200,000 to secure infrastructures by improving visibility and providing dynamic detection as components connect or disconnect from a networked system
• Whitescope LLC, Half Moon Bay, CA — $200,000 to build a secure wireless communications gateway made specifically for IoT devices and compliant with the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) 802.11 standard

After successfully completing a proof of concept demonstration in Phase 1, these five companies mark the first class of SVIP IoT Security portfolio companies to enter Phase 2, where they will produce and demonstrate a pilot-ready prototype.

“This marks an important milestone,” said Melissa Ho, Managing Director, SVIP. “We’re committed to real investments in start-ups and connecting them to new operational customers and applications of their technologies that they never imagined.”

The Internet of Things is a convergence of mobile devices, information technology networks, connected sensors and devices. The DHS OTS call for security solutions seeks novel ideas and technologies to improve situational awareness and security to detect, authenticate and update IoT components and systems.

Click here for more information on future OTS solicitations.



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