DHS issues contract to Texas A&M
This contract, valued at approximately $260,000, was not procured through the typical full and open competition format. This caused DHS to issue a justification.
Under the Homeland Security Act of 2002, the department is allowed to establish centers of excellence (COE) at U.S. universities. Among these sites is the National Center for Zoonotic and Animal Disease Defense (ZADD). Its research areas include the development of antivirals, vaccines and medical equipment in order to prevent zoonotic diseases from entering the country and to facilitate response measures in case diseases are spread domestically.
ZADD is also involved in the development of educational programs, including graduate curricula, early response training and computer models for conducting economic and epidemiological analysis.
COEs that have been established by the department are focused within classified and unclassified scientific research into multiple areas of defense and security.
According to the DHS, in order to open competitiveness, external facilities would need additional resources and time to meet standards set at these COEs and to develop the appropriate capabilities.