BIF and Jay Cohen

Jay Cohen

Under Secretary for Science & Technology, Department of Homeland Security

Under Secretary Jay Cohen, vice Rear Admiral, USN Retired, serves as the Under Secretary, Science & Technology Directorate with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Having led the US Office of Naval Research office for an unprecedented 5+ years, Admiral Cohen is now responsible for structuring research and development activities for the DHS.

  • a big confederation of departments, still coming together
  • created to try and do away with seams, anything we can do to reduce seams is good
  • there are 35k fire departments in the US, 80% are volunteers.  When I say to them I’m here to help, they ask me to by a raffle ticket or a muffin.
  • There are 700k police, 571 bomb disposal units
  • we are going to talk about the perils of innovation…for you it is to put bread on the table, meeting the payroll.
  • I get to take risks with millions of your dollars to keep billions safe
  • I get most of my ideas for innovation mostly from fortune cookies!
  • In 2001 they were being told they needed to be more innovative (the US NavY0.  they say the Navy is 230 yrs of tradition unhampered by progress
  • They built an experimental ship, manned by navy and Coastguard.   A prototype to teach them lessons about new ways of doing things.  An XCraft.  SeaFighter  Fastest large naval craft.  1400 tonnes that does >50knots
  • Have modular weapons and sensors – swap in and out as needed.  Keep it flexible
  • Built for <90million.  Been tested.  Now being used for risk reduction – demonstrated how to do it
  • But building production models, running into problems.   The bureaucracy slows things down; once it was in the system, it changed everything, overlaid new requirements.  The ship that was contracted for was not the one they had to build. It’s got huge budget overruns.  The test worked, the end product did not.
  • Now looking for places to demonstrate technologies and practices, to try things out.  For first responders etc.  We will not have a failure of imagination on my watch.

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