Disrupting Operations of Illicit Supply Networks

National Science Foundation (NSF)

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Deadline: Apr 22, 2022 (Full proposal)

Grant amount: More than US $1,000,000

Fields of work: Crime Prevention & Justice Domestic/Homeland Security

Applicant type: Nonprofit, Faculty

Funding uses: Research

Location of project: Anywhere in the world

Location of residency: United States

Overview:

NOTE: Full Proposal Deadlines due by 5 p.m. submitter's local time.

Criminal networks that illegally traffic in everything from people and drugs to human organs, natural resources and nuclear material pose grave threats to the health, prosperity and security of our Nation. As an important example, the opioid epidemic in the United States has largely been fueled by new synthetic opioids that are primarily produced in overseas facilities and distributed to the US through intermediate countries. These illicit supply chains flourish across national boundaries, both taking advantage of and contributing to regional instability. The profits generated through these activities finance ongoing conflicts across the globe.

Making use of the same communications, logistics, transportation, and financial infrastructure that enable globally integrated commercial supply chains, illicit flows are now estimated to account for 4-6% of global GDP, or roughly $2 trillion annually. Moreover, these networks use exploitative labor, such as child labor, forced labor and human trafficking, to source and produce goods and services that contribute to both illicit and legal commercial supply chains. The Disrupting Operations of Illicit Supply Networks (D-ISN) Solicitation supports research projects that take a systems approach to advance fundamental understanding of how networks that traffic in illicit or illicitly-produced goods and services operate, leading to technological breakthroughs that bolster our ability to disable these networks.

Major goals of NSF’s D-ISN Solicitation include:

  • Improve understanding of the operations of illicit supply networks and strengthen the ability to detect, disrupt, and dismantle them.
  • Support research on the illicit supply networks that fuel the national opioid epidemic
  • Enhance research communities that effectively integrate operational, computational, social, cultural and economic expertise to
  • provide methods and strategies to combat this complex and elusive global security challenge.
  • Catalyze game-changing technological innovations that can improve discovery and traceability of illicitly sourced product inputs.
  • Provide research outcomes that inform U.S. national security, law enforcement and economic development needs and policies.

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This page was last reviewed August 07, 2021 and last updated May 14, 2021