(a) In generalThe Under Secretary for Science and Technology, acting through the Director of the Office for Interoperability and Compatibility, shall establish a comprehensive research and development program to support and promote—
(2) interoperable emergency communications capabilities among emergency response providers and relevant government officials, including by—
supporting research on a competitive basis, including through the Directorate of Science and Technology and Homeland Security Advanced Research Projects Agency; and
considering the establishment of a Center of Excellence under the Department of Homeland Security Centers of Excellence Program focused on improving emergency response providers’ communication capabilities.
(b) PurposesThe purposes of the program established under subsection (a) include—
supporting research, development, testing, and evaluation on emergency communication capabilities;
investigating technologies that could lead to long-term advancements in emergency communications capabilities and supporting research on advanced technologies and potential systemic changes to dramatically improve emergency communications; and
evaluating and validating advanced technology concepts, and facilitating the development and deployment of interoperable emergency communication capabilities.