Texas A&M Picked to Lead Efforts to Stop Cross-Border Threats

Texas A&M University picked to lead a consortium to screen cross-border biological threats and defend livestock supply chains with a $3.8 million grant. ( Texas A&M AgriLife )

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has picked Texas A&M University to lead a consortium to screen cross-border threats and defend livestock supply chains with a $3.8 million grant.

AgriLife Research, Texas A&M’s agricultural outreach program's research arm, will be joined by other programs within the Texas A&M University System during a 10-year grant period. The consortium will work with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to counter existing and potential biological threats through research and education resources.

“This Center’s work will assist DHS operations that protect the global supply chain and reduce the risk of exposing people and infrastructures to new and evolving biological threats,” said William N. Bryan, the Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Under Secretary for Science and Technology. “We anticipate this new Center will work closely with industry and other partners to develop solutions that minimize risks.”

The new center will also train and educate workers to prepare for and respond to biological threats.

“This Center will deliver relevant technology and analytics to support CBP in securing the trillions of dollars of trade and millions of travelers that enter the United States each year,” said CBP Commissioner Kevin McAleenan. “We look forward to working with Texas A&M and the Center of Excellence as we explore new technologies to better facilitate safe and secure trade and travel.”

Among other project partners are the University of Texas Medical Branch-Galveston, University of Washington, IBM Research, health care product manufacturer Quidel Corporation and health care technology developer SunQ.