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Homeland Security – Ken Morelly

June 2, 2006 @ 12:00 am EDT


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Ken Morrelly, President of Long Island Forum for Technology (LIFT) made a presentation this morning on Homeland Security. The state of New York has allotted $25 Million to establish a center for the development of new products that will be used in the effort to protect the nation. This will not be an incubator. The idea is to use technology that is presently available and apply that technology to the needs of security. The physical plant will be occupied by 20 different companies around the state. There will be a high tech theater to illustrate the various ideas that will be explored. Each of the 20 cells will be peopled by 2 individuals from these 20 participating companies. The site will be linked with the various companies throughout the state.

The upper floor will be occupied by Northrop Grumman, and their mission will be homeland defense. They will have 150 people in the building. Some of the validation of present technology will have applications in defense. Otherwise the technology will be used to help create security systems. Mr. Morrelly pointed out to us the there is a distinction between Homeland Security and Homeland Defense.

They expect that in an environment such as this there will be cross pollination of ideas as well as a transference of ideas in systems that they are not presently using what is otherwise known. The chance that serendipity will come into play is great.

While working for New York Telephone company many years ago we did something like this quite by accident. When we deployed personnel to tend to an emergency situation in another city the crafts people traded information on procedures that were not used in their home districts. The learning process was amazing even though we all worked from the very same manuals throughout the country they were able to innovate, and those effective innovations were now taken home when the emergency was over. I expect we will see a similar transference of knowledge in this project.

LIMBA has as one of its action projects high speed ferries. Another is better access to rail freight. When asked if these issues would be able to benefit from this center, Morrelly said that transportation was not one of the issues that the center considered, but those issues do have a homeland security aspect.

Pictured: Ken Morrelly, President of Lift and Pat Howley Executive Director of LIFT