The Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) component is working every day to reduce risks to the cyber and physical infrastructure that Americans rely on – but CISA Director Jen Easterly said today that effort relies on public-private partnership to help mitigate those risks through technological innovation.

At today’s Homeland Security Startup Studio (HSSS) Converge event, Easterly gave a keynote speech in which she explained how the work of the 2023 program finalists will help shape the future of Federal government research and development (R&D).

“Mitigating risks through technological innovation is exactly where we need your help, and why programs like this are so incredibly important for the safety and security of our nation,” Easterly told the finalists.

“The innovative approaches to commercializing early stage technology development, and the ideas you all bring to the table, will help shape the future of government R&D,” she added. “And indeed, the program has already made a difference.”

The CISA chief noted that all five of the 2021 Converge finalists went on to form companies that continue to advance the technologies that they pitched, and six of the 2022 participants have also formed tech companies.

“At the root of Converge is really the value of public-private partnership, and as I said, this is central to CISA’s mission as a partnership agency,” Easterly said. “While we’re a little further on the operational spectrum from your focus, what you do today, we will use tomorrow, and none of us can do it alone.”

“Now more than ever, we need talent like yours to help shape the future of government research and development,” she concluded.

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Grace Dille
Grace Dille
Grace Dille is MeriTalk's Assistant Managing Editor covering the intersection of government and technology.