Funding Opportunity: DARPA Releases World Modelers BAA
On March 27, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Information Innovation Office (I20) released the Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) for the World Modelers Program, led by program manager Dr. Paul Cohen. The corresponding Proposers Day was held on February 3, 2017.
The goal of the World Modelers Program is to construct technology that allows the rapid building of models to address questions pertaining to both national and global security. The program will focus on food insecurity as an initial test case in phase 1 with the aim to build models that can predict future food insecurity in specific geographic locations. Questions for analysis should be developed at a subnational level and look one to five years into the future. Models built should be, ‘comprehensive, targeted, causal, quantitative, probabilistic, and timely enough to recommend specific actions that could avert crises.” There are five Technical Areas (TAs) of focus:
- TA1: Build Qualitative Models from Online Sources – construct “qualitative, causal analysis graphs semi-automatically.”
- TA2: Workflow Compiler (for Integration of Quantitative Models) – compile open-source quantitative models pertaining to the proposers’ selected use case and integrate models into a graphical analysis.
- TA3: Parameterize Models – address the challenge of automating techniques to “convert data into values of parameters of quantitative models, aligned with specific analyses.”
- TA4: From Scenarios to Actions – define ways in which “specifying scenarios and analyzing actions will be shared between machines and humans.”
- TA5: Uncertainty Reports – provide analysts and clients “reasons to believe (or disbelieve) analyses.”
Eligible applicants may submit proposals addressing more than one TA. Additionally, multiple proposals may be submitted to any one TA. Proposals should consist of two volumes: volume 1 should address the technical and managerial side of the proposal, while volume 2 should outline the cost of the proposed project.
Funding and Awards: Although multiple awards are anticipated, the exact level of funding for individual awards has not yet been determined.
Eligibility: The World Modelers Program is open to “all responsible sources capable of satisfying the Government's needs, including academia (colleges and universities); businesses (large, small, small disadvantaged, etc.); other organizations (including non-profit); entities (foreign, domestic, and government); federally funded research and development centers (FFRDCs); minority institutions; and others.”
Submission Deadlines: Proposals are due by 12:00 PM EDT on Thursday, May 11, 2017.
Sources and Additional Information:
- The announcement for the World Modelers Program BAA is available at: https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=292785
- Additional information about the program manager, Dr. Paul Cohen, is available at: http://www.darpa.mil/staff/dr-paul-cohen
- The World Modelers Proposers Day website is available at: https://www.schafertmd.com/darpa/i2o/worldmodelers/pd/
- Slides from the World Modelers Proposers Day are available at:https://www.schafertmd.com/darpa/i2o/worldmodelers/pd/content/downloads/WorldModelers_briefing.pdf