BTI strives to connect academic researchers with its industrial partners in the transition and dissemination of technology and policy products.
BTI partners closely with industry and community in order to transition research into technology and policies. The Center accomplishes this by working closely with partners and researchers to identify opportunities, pursuing joint proposals, and collaborative conferences.
Homeland Security stakeholders in private industry are welcome to contact firstname.lastname@example.org to find out about opportunities for collaboration.
BTI Fellows Program | BTI Institute Involvement in Homeland Security Enterprise | Border Security Unmanned Aerial Systems Working Group | Cross-Border Institute at the University of Windsor | Request For Proposals
The BTI Institute hosted its first orientation for BTI Fellows on Wednesday, May 10, in Houston.
The BTI Fellows are highly experienced and eminently qualified subject matter experts that serve to significantly expand the capabilities and expertise of the Institute's faculty and staff. These BTI Fellows provide expertise in a wide variety of topic areas working from locations throughout the United States - addressing homeland security issues pertaining to our Northern and Southern borders, coastal regions, territories, and critical infrastructure.
Twelve distinguished subject matter experts in topic areas of border security, intelligence analysis, cybersecurity, counterterrorism, violent gangs, project management, organizational leadership, exercise development and evaluation, and continuity of operations, received briefings on the BTI Institute and current initiatives. The Fellows engaged in discussions with the BTI Institute’s Director Ioannis Kakadiaris and Kevin Clement, Executive Director, Strategic Partnerships, on how best to expand the institute’s capabilities and capacities for further research.
In the future, these BTI Fellows will be engaged, as needed, to work on BTI Institute initiatives. The Fellows serve in part-time positions, where individuals are asked to perform a wide spectrum of functions and projects. These include such tasks as:
- “Red Team” activities for proposed plans and initiatives
- Consultation in their subject areas of expertise
- Critical review of concepts and proposals
- Representation of the BTI Institute at meetings and conferences
- Exercise planning, facilitation, and evaluation in accordance with the Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program (HSEEP)
- Special projects
Applicants for BTI Fellowships are required to provide their resume and five professional references (name, title, work address, telephone number, and email address) to the BTI Institute’s Executive Director, Strategic Partnerships. New applicants for BTI Fellowships will be screened every six months by a review panel composed of members of the BTI Institute. Selected applicants will then be interviewed via phone or by teleconference prior to participating in final interviews and orientation at the BTI Institute.
- Texas Human Trafficking Prevention Task Force
- Through coordination with the Office of the Attorney General of Texas, the BTI Institute will observe and work with the Texas Human Trafficking Prevention Task Force in 2017-2018 and seek full membership on the Task Force during the next legislative session.
- Texas Homeland Security Council
- The Texas Office of Homeland Security has invited the BTI Institute to join the Texas Homeland Security Council. Director Kakadiaris represented the BTI Institute at the Homeland Security Council’s meeting on April 6.
- Texas State Transportation Innovation Council (TxSTIC)
- In December 2016, Ioannis Pavlidis, Ph.D., BTI Institute Thrust Lead for Transnational Flows of People (Technology), was invited to represent the BTI Institute on the Texas State Transportation Innovation Council.
- Houston Area Council on Human Trafficking
- Nicole F. Bromfield, Ph.D., Associate Professor and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in the Graduate College of Social Work at the University of Houston, was nominated as the BTI Institute’s representative to the Houston Area Council on Human Trafficking.
- Kevin Clement represents the BTI Institute in the Houston Chapter of InfraGard. He participated in its February workshop on the threat of ElectroMagnetic Pulse (EMP).
- Texas Continuity Working Group
- Kevin Clement represents the BTI Institute on the Texas Continuity Working Group, a committee of government and private sector subject matter experts in government Continuity of Operations (COOP) and Business Continuity planning. As a result of his participation, the BTI Institute will provide Mobile Training Teams (MTTs) as a part of COOP Training to requesting border regions in Texas.
The Borders, Trade, and Immigration Institute (BTI Institute) hosted the first meeting of its Border Security Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) Working Group on Wednesday, May 17, at the University of Houston.
The purpose of the Border Security UAS Working Group is to collectively identify and address homeland security and public safety concerns associated with the employment of unmanned aerial systems (UAS) by terrorist elements, cartels, and other Transnational Criminal Organizations in our border and coastal regions.
Led by the BTI Institute, the Working Group serves to foster collaboration between university researchers, homeland security officials, and public safety officers in the conduct of research and development of innovative solutions to address homeland security needs.
Membership includes representatives from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, US Coast Guard, the Federal Aviation Administration, US Marshals Service, Texas Department of Public Safety, Texas Military Forces, and officials from El Paso, Austin and the Port of Corpus Christi. Also represented are directors and researchers from the following Department of Homeland Security Centers of Excellence: the Borders, Trade and Immigration Institute; the Center for Risk and Economic Analysis of Terrorism Events (CREATE), the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START), the Critical Infrastructure Resilience Institute (CIRI), and the Coastal Resilience Center (CRC). Also participating are the Lone Star UAS Center of Excellence (Texas A&M) and the Combating Terrorism Center (United States Military Academy).
Initial agreed upon objectives include
- Identify research needs and opportunities for UAS – and adapt for border security and public safety activities
- Explore tactical and technical developments in counter-drone technology to deny UAS support to terrorist elements and Transnational Criminal Organizations
- Develop UAS tactics and applications for integration in future operational and strategic planning efforts
- Promote the U.S.-Mexico border region as a test bed for UAS technology in border security and law enforcement operations
- Educate the homeland security and public safety communities on laws and regulations regarding lawful operation of UAS
- Educate leaders on UAS capabilities and those laws, regulations, and policies impacting the use of UAS systems in Homeland Security and public safety operations
During the meeting, Working Group members received an intelligence update on reported drone use in the U.S.-Mexico border region by Lieutenant Danny Cardella, Texas Military Forces, currently assigned to Operation Secure Texas. BTI Institute Fellow, Joel Aud, provided a presentation on the potential use of tethered drones in surveillance and disaster response. The meeting culminated in a briefing and demonstration by Fire Service officer Coitt Kessler of the Austin Fire Department’s RED Team on its advances in the use of UAS and robots in public safety operations.
The next meeting of the Border Security UAS Working Group is scheduled for July 19th at the BTI Institute on the University of Houston campus.
The Cross-Border Institute (CBI) focuses its work on land-border crossings, especially the largest trade corridor between Canada and the U.S. between Windsor, Ontario, and Detroit, Michigan. It houses expertise to assess economic and social outcomes of decisions taken by the public and private sector on land-border issues, with the goal of identifying fruitful paths to removing impediments to trade and travel while ensuring border security and protecting the rights of border users. BTI and CBI are actively exploring a collaborative relationship.