Cover: Development and Adoption of Emerging Technologies at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security

Development and Adoption of Emerging Technologies at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security

Ideal Future States and Pathways to Achieve Them

Published Jun 10, 2024

by Katie A. Wilson, Jeff Anderson, Bianca Espinosa, Jonathan L. Brosmer, Kristin Van Abel, Eric Landree

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To help support the development of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's (DHS's) Innovation, Research, and Development (IRD) Strategic Plan, the authors developed conceptual notions of ideal states that DHS might aim for by 2030.

The authors used a modified version of a future-state group brainstorming activity commonly referred to as the Cover Story Game to identify opportunities and pathways for facilitating DHS development and adoption of emerging technologies.

The authors describe three desired future states for DHS with regard to IRD. These desired future states are idealized future versions of DHS to identify and overcome the challenges and steps necessary for DHS to make progress toward reaching them.

The authors concentrated on three plausible future states: (1) the collaboration and coordination of technology IRD across the department, (2) the transfer of technologies that can support more than one mission and component, and (3) the establishment of a culture that leads to successful transfer and adoption of technologies by components. These three scenarios imagine a future state where these challenges have been mitigated through purposeful actions. For each future state, authors discuss why DHS leadership should be motivated to achieve this end state, options for making progress toward these outcomes, challenges that might be encountered, and possible ways to overcome identified obstacles.

This research was sponsored by the Science and Technology Directorate and conducted in the Management, Technology, and Capabilities Program of the RAND Homeland Security Research Division.

This commentary is part of the RAND expert insight series. RAND Expert Insights present perspectives on timely policy issues. All RAND Expert Insights undergo peer review to ensure high standards for quality and objectivity.

RAND is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.