The Kentucky Homeland Security University Consortium

The Kentucky Homeland Security University Consortium brings the knowledge resources of the state’s universities and colleges to a research and development initiative that seeks to expand the spectrum of products and services used in homeland security critical infrastructure protection. Organized in early 2004, the Consortium pools the academic, technical and scholarly assets of the member institutions to engage projects that explore, design and create solutions to some of the most pressing homeland security issues of the day.

Established at the urging of Kentucky Fifth District Congressman Harold “Hal” Rogers, the Consortium competes in the national arena of homeland security research and development. The Congressman’s concept for the Consortium was based on uniting the scholarly and academic capacities on the institutions’ individual campuses and, through cooperative and collaborative research efforts, concentrating the institutions’ expertise on specific issues.

The Consortium is an integral partner with The National Institute For Hometown Security, serving as a vital research asset.

The efforts of the Consortium and The National Institute For Hometown Security fill a niche that addresses protecting and preserving the nation’s community-based critical infrastructure. The components of this critical infrastructure are agriculture, food, water, public health, emergency services, government, the defense industrial base, information and technology systems, energy, transportation, banking and finance, the chemical industry and postal and shipping operations. Through other research and development initiatives, substantial effort is focused on technologies that prevent and respond to catastrophic events more national in scope that may result from chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive attacks.

Through the Consortium, the member institutions have agreed to collaborate on research and development projects, share their scholarly resources and physical assets and cooperatively pursue solutions to specific homeland security challenges.

The members of the Consortium are the University of Kentucky, University of Louisville, Kentucky State University, the Kentucky Community and Technical College System, Western Kentucky University, Northern Kentucky University, Eastern Kentucky University, Murray State University and Morehead State University. The state’s private colleges participate through the Association of Independent Kentucky Colleges and Universities. The Consortium operates with the cooperation of the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education.

The Challenge

The task of assuring the security of our homeland involves protecting the citizens of the United States, the nation's critical infrastructure and key assets. This is necessary to sustain the nation's vitality against terrorism and other threats. This protection must originate at the community level. It requires discovering, developing and deploying new technology that will support first responders and key decision makers in local communities.

The Mission

NIHS' mission is to discover, develop and deploy solutions that protect and preserve the critical infrastructure of the nation's communities.

The Institute

NIHS aligns projects and research objectives with the needs and requirements of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The strategy is to manage a distributed research enterprise that effectively transitions research and development into solutions. NIHS works with DHS to determine technology needs at the community level. Then, teams are quickly assembled from multiple universities to develop solutions to the needs.

The Strategy

Through management of the Kentucky Critical Infrastructure Protections Program (KCI), the National Institute for Hometown Security (NIHS) provides an ongoing, integrated program dedicated to developing new technologies and devices. NIHS works through qualified academic institutions to accomplish the technological objectives.