TerrorismNew Center to Lead Counterterrorism, Terrorism Prevention Research

Published 26 February 2020

DHS S&T has awarded the University of Nebraska at Omaha a 10-year, $36 million grant to establish a DHS Center of Excellence (COE) for Terrorism Prevention and Counterterrorism Research (TPCR). TPCR will lead a consortium of academic, industry, government, and laboratory partners aiming to gain better understanding of terrorism and its sources, and help fashion effective counterterrorism policies.

The University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) and University of Nebraska (NU) say they are positioned to be world leaders in counterterrorism and national security following the announcement of a 10-year, $36 million grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T), Office of University Programs.

Monday’s announcement names UNO as the home of a national Center of Excellence (COE) for Terrorism Prevention and Counterterrorism Research (TPCR) that will spearhead a consortium of academic, industry, government and laboratory partners throughout the country in support of DHS’s mission to keep the country safe.

UNO notes that the award is the largest single grant in the 112-year history of UNO.

UNO’s designation as a DHS Center of Excellence is a landmark achievement for not only the university, but for the state of Nebraska,” NU President Ted Carter said. “I am immensely proud of UNO officials and faculty members for being bold enough to pursue this opportunity and for having the courage to accept the responsibility that comes with it: assisting the United States in its global counterterrorism effort.”

Named the National Counterterrorism Innovation, Technology and Education (NCITE) Center of Excellence, the effort will build on nearly a decade of research and government support by UNO that has helped identify and prevent the radicalization of individuals by extremist groups like ISIS, as well as curb efforts by these groups to quickly mobilize violent attacks.

UNO will serve as the coordinating university for NCITE, which features a consortium of 17 total partner institutions stretching from Maine to Florida to Southern California.

Addressing the nation’s ever-evolving national security challenges requires leaders who have the expertise and foresight to adapt to each issue,” UNO Chancellor Jeffrey P. Gold, M.D., said. “This grant, the largest single grant in the history of UNO, will serve as an engine for thought leadership that will permeate through the entire university culture. This success is an inspiration to all of our faculty, students and the community that we are so privileged to serve.”

In a DHS release, William N. Bryan, the senior official performing the duties of the Under Secretary for Science and Technology stated that, as a COE, NCITE will work closely with the department’s operational units and not just provide information through research efforts, but educate future homeland security leaders so they are trained in the latest methods of counterterrorism.