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About the BTI Institute

A Homeland Security Center of Excellence

The Homeland Security Centers of Excellence bring together leading experts and researchers to conduct multidisciplinary research and education for homeland security solutions.

The centers are authorized by Congress and chosen by the Department’s Science & Technology Directorate through a competitive selection process. Each center is led by a university in collaboration with partners from other institutions, agencies, laboratories, think tanks, and the private sector.

Mission of the Institute

The Borders, Trade, and Immigration (BTI) Institute, led by the University of Houston, conducts and transitions research, develops innovative solutions, and provides education that enhances the Nation’s ability to secure the borders, facilitate legitimate trade and travel, and ensure the integrity of the immigration system.

Through a multi-disciplinary team of national and international experts, the Center delivers transformational technology-driven solutions, data-informed policies, workforce development opportunities for today’s Homeland Security Enterprise, and trans-disciplinary education for the next generation of homeland security experts.


The BTI effort is directed along the following areas:

Cross-Border Movement of People

BTI addresses real-world challenges as they relate to the flow of people across borders. These challenges have defined our three themes of funded projects: Monitoring, Facilitation, and Organized Crime.

Cross-Border Movement of Goods

BTI research in the broad area of trade aims to develop three themes: Ports of the Future, Trade Compliance, and Connecting Goods to People.

Homeland Security Enterprise Education

The center currently provides project-based STEM learning.

Homeland Security Enterprise Professional Development

The Center currently provides a symposium series focusing on Department of Homeland Security topics.