High-tech startups battle bureaucracy to aid homeland security

    Date25 Jun 2002
    CategoryGovernment
    2676
    Posted ByAnthony Pell
    In Washington state, a Tacoma company has invented a computer program that could stop terrorists from using a plane as a missile. An Auburn firm has tested a device that might have allowed air traffic controllers to track the planes headed . . . In Washington state, a Tacoma company has invented a computer program that could stop terrorists from using a plane as a missile. An Auburn firm has tested a device that might have allowed air traffic controllers to track the planes headed for the World Trade Center towers. And a Bellevue company has invented a smart card with a biometric watermark the Secret Service is interested in.

    The three companies and a dozen or so other Washington state firms were on Capitol Hill on Thursday for a congressional forum on "Technology Against Terrorism," which featured Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge and other administration officials.

    But more importantly, it was an opportunity for these small- to medium-size companies to get a glimpse at the federal bureaucracy as they prepare to market their ideas and products to the Defense Department, the Transportation Security Administration, the Federal Aviation Administration and other agencies and departments involved in homeland security and fighting the war on terrorism.

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