CoreSHIELD is the information technology architecture underlying a suite of web-based portals and applications that together provide a gateway for communication, coordination, collaboration, education and training among the stakeholders charged with protecting and defending the nation's critical infrastructure.


Innovative collaboration portals to enable the secure exchange of information

CoreSHIELD is the information technology architecture underlying a suite of web-based portals and applications that together provide a gateway for communication, coordination, collaboration, education and training among the stakeholders charged with protecting and defending the nation's critical infrastructure.

The Problem

The food and agriculture field is vast and spread across multiple agencies. FPDI saw the need for a centralized platform to unite those in the nation that needed to coordinate from different organizations, sectors, and physical locations.

The Beginning

In 2005, FoodSHIELD was initiated with a USDA CREES grant. Its initial and continuing mission is to facilitate collaboration among the federal regulatory agencies, laboratories, state and local government entities, military branches, and academics involved in protecting and defending the global food supply.


With over 20,000 active users, CoreSHIELD is now the preferred gateway for communication, collaboration, education, and training amongst the nation’s critical infrastructure stakeholders. The system continues to evolve with a new user interface and major updates released in 2014 and new features, updates, and customizations added regularly.

The Portals

Today, CoreSHIELD serves as the underlying framework for FoodSHIELD and several additional portals and applications that have been added to the FPDI portfolio of Information Sharing Environments (ISEs) since 2005.

The Features

Fundamental to CoreSHIELD is the Common Organizational Registry Environment (CORE), which provides role-based contact information and capabilities such as document management, workgroups, online meetings, e-learning, calendaring, secure-send, user authentication and single sign-on, all of which can be shared and leveraged by the portals and applications residing on CoreSHIELD.


The University of Minnesota Board of Regents owns the CoreSHIELD platform. The Strategic Partnership and Research Collaborative at the University of Minnesota manages the development, operations, and maintenance of the platform. Government use of the technology developed falls under Bayh-Dole Act.

For more information on CoreSHIELD, please contact the FoodSHIELD Coordinator at

CoreSHIELD Portals

CoreSHIELD provides the web-based platform for the following secure portal systems, housing databases of current information regarding regulatory agencies, laboratories, and role-based contacts. CoreSHIELD was designed for scalability, enabling it to expand and integrate additional systems when and as needed. Due to the success of CoreSHIELD and its portals, other communities have recognized its utility in connecting individuals through a web-based Information Sharing Environment.

The result of a collaborative effort between the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), state government partners, and the Food Protection and Defense Institute, the PETNet and LivestockNet portals facilitate sharing of information between Federal and State agencies, which can serve as an early alert for pet food and animal feed related incidents, such as illness associated with the consumption of a product or product defects. The information can be used by State and Federal regulators to determine how best to use investigative and laboratory resources to address adverse events associated with adulterated pet food or animal feed.

These Food Protection Taskforces consist of government, industry, academia, and consumer groups that create an effective state-wide infrastructure for outreach, response, and information sharing. The Taskforces, uniquely positioned within states as a convener of stakeholders in food safety, can and should be an effective solution within the greater national food protection framework. This cooperation has resulted in greater awareness of potential vulnerabilities, the creation of more effective prevention programs, new surveillance systems, and the ability to respond more quickly to outbreaks of foodborne illness.

A secure online system, the FERN Portal extends the outreach and operational capabilities of the Food Emergency Response Network (FERN), a network of the nation's local, state, and federal food-testing laboratories. Containing member laboratory capability and contact information, as well as extensive collaboration functionality, the Portal is used for FERN-related activations, proficiency testing, and online meetings, helping FERN better respond to emergencies involving biological, chemical, or radiological contamination of food.

The National Animal Health Network (NAHLN) was formed to coordinate Federal laboratory capacity with extensive infrastructure (facilities, professional expertise, and support) of State supported laboratories. The NAHLN portal serves to enhance threat prevention and response, risk management, communication and asset coordination, and public education. The use of this portal enables timely sharing and a more coordinated source of information pertaining to the NAHLN laboratories. NAHLN standards provide a consistent format by which all laboratories enter information, transmit PT and Assay Monitoring results.

Archived Portals

The following portals have been archived by the sponsor. Technology and process capabilities resident within these portals are available within the CoreSHIELD architecture to support other portals.

As the homeland security community’s primary point of contact with the nation’s colleges and universities, the DHS Office of University Programs enables partners to address critical homeland security needs through access to DHS Centers of Excellence research results and education programs. The HSUP portal, developed and maintained by FPDI, enhances the accessibility of these programs by providing a web-based information sharing system that enables close collaboration with the diverse COE community and facilitates information sharing among the COE’s numerous research partners.

The ICLN Portal was built to support the Integrated Consortium of Laboratory Networks (ICLN), a coordinated and operational system of laboratory networks that provide timely, high quality, and interpretable results for early detection and effective consequence management of acts of terrorism and other events requiring an integrated laboratory response. Use of this portal extends the outreach and operational capabilities of the ICLN and is essential to enabling the joint response capability of ICLN member networks.