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NIJ Announces $4.5M in New Funding for the Forensic Technology Center of Excellence

Since 2007, NIJ has funded the Forensic Technology Center of Excellence program to provide evidence-based knowledge and technology tools for criminal justice agencies.

In January 2022, NIJ, a component of the Office of Justice Programs, announced $4.5 million for two new awards under its Forensic Technology Center of Excellence (FTCOE) program.  The FTCOE program serves as the bridge between NIJ’s investments in research and development and forensic science laboratories, particularly at the state and local levels, by helping to transition products from those investments into operational use. In addition to supporting technology transition activities, FTCOE will embark on developing national forensic science library services. These first-of-its-kind library services will identify, curate, and make available scholarly literature relevant to the forensic science research and practitioner communities across the country.

“NIJ is intensely focused on making sure that forensic service providers have access to the latest knowledge and technology” said Lucas Zarwell, director of NIJ’s Office of Investigative and Forensic Sciences. “To be successful, NIJ must provide opportunities for knowledge transfer and technology transition as promising new technologies are developed. For over a decade, the NIJ Forensic Technology Center of Excellence program has supported these efforts, and we look forward to working with the expert teams to continue to demonstrate the impact and value of forensic science research.”

This year NIJ has made two awards to support he FTCOE program. NIJ will work with both the Research Triangle Institute and Florida International University through cooperative agreements. The award to the Research Triangle Institute will facilitate technology adoption activities and develop resources for evidence-based practices. The award to Florida International University will focus on developing the national forensic library services.

Funding Highlights for Fiscal Year 2021

Since 2007, NIJ has invested over $62 million in the FTCOE program. This program has evolved to now focus on six specific efforts:

  1. Providing scientific and technical support to NIJ’s forensic science research, development, and technology transition efforts.
  2. Facilitating demonstration, testing, evaluation, transfer, and adoption of appropriate technology into practice by crime laboratories, medical examiner/coroner offices, law enforcement, and other criminal justice agencies and forensic science service providers.
  3. Providing technology transition assistance, knowledge transfer, and support to forensic science researchers and practitioners.
  4. Developing and providing access to resources for research dissemination, education, and evidence-based best practices in the forensic science and criminal justice communities.
  5. Working closely with NIJ program managers to assess and communicate the impact of forensic science RDT&E, evidence-based best practices, and systems-based approaches for the criminal justice system.

Developing a national forensic science library services to identify, curate, and make available scholarly literature relevant to the forensic science research and practitioner community.

Two awards were made this year:

Date Published: January 7, 2022