DHS Science and Technology Directorate Awards IJIS Institute Virtual USA® Contract

Work will support incident management information sharing and open standards for VirtualUSA®

Ashburn, VA (January 23, 2014). The IJIS Institute—a nonprofit organization that focuses on mission‐critical information sharing for justice, public safety, and homeland security—has been awarded a contract by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Science & Technology (S&T) Directorate, First Responders Group (FRG) to support certain aspects of the Virtual USA® (vUSA) program.

The IJIS Institute will provide the vUSA program with support for incident management information sharing (IMIS) standards development, standards governance, and transition to operational use. Working with the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC), the international geospatial standards development organization, and with program support from SRA International and Esri, the Springboard platform managed by the IJIS Institute will be utilized to support the development, testing, and implementation of standards to support the vUSA program.

Under FRG’s direction, the IJIS Institute will be closely working with the National Information Sharing Consortium (NISC) to develop practitioner requirements for advancing First Responder information sharing needs. In addition, the IJIS Institute team will be collaborating with the Program Manager, Information Sharing Environment (PM-ISE) on information sharing standards to support FRG’s goals.

Kshemendra Paul, the PM-ISE said, “Assuring First Responders have access to critical incident management information advances responsible information sharing; a core mission objective of the PM-ISE. I am delighted to support the stand-up of the Incident Management Information Sharing Committee (IMIS-C) that will leverage the use of our ISE Information Interoperability Frameworks to support local, state, tribal, and federal partners in this important aspect of the homeland security mission.”

Steve Ambrosini, Executive Director of the IJIS Institute said, “We are pleased that the Springboard program will be used to support this program.” Ambrosini further stated, “It is gratifying to be part of DHS’s effort to develop high priority information sharing standards that will achieve national interoperability for emergency managers and First Responders nationwide.”

President and CEO of OGC, Mark Reichardt, said, “The advancement of the IMIS standards and architectural recommendations through the Springboard platform will help improve sharing of critically important information for incident management. OGC is honored to partner with IJIS in this important national effort, bringing 20 years of expertise in location standards and proven consensus standards processes to help advance Virtual USA objectives.”

The vUSA program is a DHS-supported interoperable information sharing program that is a collaborative effort between S&T, NISC, other DHS components, and state and local emergency management agencies. vUSA is a blend of process and technology that improves information sharing and provides a virtual pipeline to allow data (such as the operational status of critical infrastructure or emergency vehicle locations) to be shared by different agency IT systems and operating platforms.


About the IJIS InstituteThe IJIS Institute unites the private and public sectors to improve mission-critical information sharing for those who protect and serve our communities. The IJIS Institute provides training, technical assistance, national scope issue management, and program management services to help government fully realize the power of information sharing. Founded in 2001 as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation with national headquarters on The George Washington University Virginia Science and Technology Campus in Ashburn, Virginia, the IJIS Institute has grown to nearly 320 member companies and individual associates from government, non-profit, and educational institutions from across the United States. For more information, visit our website at: http://www.ijis.org/; follow us on Twitter @ijisinstitute; read the IJIS Factor Blog; or, join us on LinkedIn at Justice and Public Safety Information Sharing.

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