The Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate on Wednesday said it has awarded MITRE Corp. a potential five-year $862 million contract to continue operating a research and development center that provides independent technical expertise to the department and its components.

MITRE, a non-profit corporation, has led the Homeland Security Systems Engineering and Development Institute (HSSEDI) since 2009. HSSEDI is a federally-funded research and development center.

The seven focus areas of HSSEDI include: acquisition planning and development; emerging threats, concept explorations, experimentation and evaluation; information technology and communications; cyber solutions and operations; systems engineering, system architecture and integration; technical quality and performance; and independent test and evaluation.