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DARPA
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Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency

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A new "Disruptioneering" opportunity from our Defense Sciences Office looks to apply recent advances in artificial intelligence and game theory to complex military decision-making in changing multi-agent environments with imperfect information. Responses are due October 16, 2018. A complete description of this research funding opportunity is available at: https://go.usa.gov/xPTzs.
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We invite you to join us for the first annual seL4 Summit, November 14-16, 2018, in Herndon, Virginia! seL4 is the first formally verified microkernel. It offers fundamental software separation properties and provides new opportunities to build assured computer systems.

https://www.sel4-us.org/summit

The seL4 Summit is part of an effort to grow a Center of Excellence for seL4 ecosystems, aiming to further mature seL4 technology, stabilize software distribution, train and expand the seL4 user base, and develop capabilities needed by the Department of Defense and other government agencies, and for commercial applications. The seL4 Center of Excellence is currently being led by Intelligent Automation Inc. (Principal Investigator: Dr. Jason Li).

DARPA’s High-Assurance Cyber Military Systems (HACMS) program supported development of seL4. HACMS aims to create technology for the construction of high-assurance cyber-physical systems, where “high assurance” is defined as functionally correct by design and satisfying appropriate safety and security properties.
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Act fast if you want to join DARPA in Kentucky for the Subterranean Challenge Competitors Day! https://go.usa.gov/xPrk7

Registration for in-person attendance at the Louisville Mega Cavern event closes on Thursday, Sept. 13, at 12:00 PM ET. Registration for virtual participation closes on Sept. 19.

The goal of the Subterranean Challenge is to develop innovative solutions to rapidly and remotely navigate, map, search, and characterize complex underground environments, including human-made tunnel systems, urban and municipal underground infrastructure, and natural cave networks.

The Competitors Day is open only to registered potential applicants, and not to the media or general public.
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A new paper from the University of California, San Francisco / University of Southern California team supporting DARPA's SUBNETS describes how variations in mood can be decoded from the neural signals in a person’s brain. The researchers collected data from seven volunteers among a group of epilepsy patients who already had intracranial electrodes inserted in their brain for standard clinical monitoring to locate seizures. The electrodes recorded brain signals over multiple days, while the volunteers also intermittently reported their moods using a questionnaire. Using novel algorithms that incorporated neural signals from distributed brain sites, the team was able to predict mood variations over time. Although more work is needed, the findings support the development of new, individually tailored therapies that use closed-loop brain stimulation to treat mood and anxiety disorders. This type of responsive, therapeutic neurotechnology would offer a radical departure from the current standard of care and open new treatment options to individuals who suffer from otherwise intractable neuropsychiatric illness.

Wall Street Journal coverage: https://www.wsj.com/articles/mapping-moods-in-the-human-brain-1536591601

USC news release: https://news.usc.edu/148570/breakthrough-brain-research-could-yield-new-treatments-for-depression/

Nature Biotechnology paper: https://www.nature.com/articles/nbt.4200
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The problem of antibiotic resistance in bacteria is growing, but so far effective solutions have been lacking. Fortunately, our Pathogen Predators program is succeeding in laboratory experiments using predatory bacteria to feed specifically on harmful microbes. If future tests in humans prove safe and efficacious, applications of predatory bacteria could serve as a new line of defense against dangerous germs. +NPR explains in this piece by Richard Harris.
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Our Defense Sciences Office is holding a Proposers Day webcast on Sept. 11 to share info on the Polyplexus Pilot 2 program. https://go.usa.gov/xPqCg

Polyplexus is an online platform being developed under DARPA’s Gamifying the Search for Strategic Surprise program. The aim is to fundamentally reshape the R&D process by significantly reducing the time between concept emergence and worthy proposal submission by dramatically increasing efficiency. Efficiency gains will arise from collaborative activities focused on rigorous evidence collection and hypothesis generation, both of which are facilitated by online conversation. Ultimately, the purpose will be to build on a continuous expert conversation about the present and future states of science and to generate superior R&D proposals that will be matched to research sponsors.

Our ultimate intent is for Polyplexus to be open to all, but, given the nature and complexity of this pilot, we require a pool of expert S&T researchers to interact with the platform and also act as platform testers. Pilot participation is open to all scientists and engineers who want to engage.

We will replay the event on September 13, 2018. Advance registration is required to view either webcast and to participate in the Polyplexus Pilot 2. Because Proposers Day registration also serves as registration for participation on the Polyplexus Platform, the registration site will remain open after the Proposers Day webcast has been completed.
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"Attend" our Virtual Industry Day for #STTR #SBIR, now through Sept. 24! https://go.usa.gov/xUSGQ

The Industry Day allows small businesses to view research topics and schedule discussions with DARPA program managers related to the DoD STTR 18.C announcement. This round, DARPA's STTR funding opportunities include research topics such as alternatives for the production of natural rubber, harvesting methane from the seafloor to power unmanned underwater vehicles, and visual relative navigation, among others.

Following the Virtual Industry Day, proposals will be accepted from Sept. 24 - Oct. 24, 2018.
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Attention, researchers. We have two new funding opportunities in the areas of network traffic management and secure processing of untrusted electronic data. Full program details are now available at the links below.

SafeDocs: https://go.usa.gov/xUSr4 (due Oct. 19, 2018)

Searchlight: https://go.usa.gov/xUSrD (due Oct. 17, 2018)
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The first of our Artificial Intelligence Exploration Opportunities is out! http://go.usa.gov/xUz3P

The "Automating Scientific Knowledge Extraction" (ASKE) Opportunity looks to develop models that return rich explanations under various expert queries, and ultimately produce machine-generated hypotheses. Applications of interest include automatic verification of published scientific results and real-time monitoring of fragile economic, political, social, and environmental systems undergoing complex events. Efforts may apply and/or advance AI techniques such as natural language processing, knowledge-based reasoning, machine learning, and/or human-machine collaboration.

Proposals in response to the ASKE Opportunity are due by September 17, 2018, at 4:00 PM ET.

For more information about the AI Exploration concept, visit: http://www.darpa.mil/news-events/2018-07-20a.
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We have completed a major review milestone for the Robotic Servicing of Geosynchronous Satellites (RSGS) program! https://go.usa.gov/xUthM

Results from a recently completed preliminary design review showed that the robotic payload design developed by U.S. Naval Research Laboratory – coupled with a spacecraft bus that SSL (Space Systems Loral) is providing through a partnership agreement – is on track to fulfill a multi-year mission to service commercial and government spacecraft in GEO orbit.

Several program elements have advanced beyond preliminary design review stage. Flight versions of two dexterous robotic manipulator arms, which will allow up-close inspection, repair, and installation of technical packages on the exterior of U.S. satellites, are in production and are expected to deliver in 2019. SSL is on track for the systems requirements review for the spacecraft bus in October of 2018. Launch of the RSGS robot servicing vehicle is targeted for 2021.

After DARPA completes an on-orbit checkout and demonstration phase, SSL would operate the vehicle and make cooperative servicing available to both military and commercial geosynchronous orbit satellite owners on a fee-for-service basis. In exchange for providing property to SSL, the government will obtain reduced-priced servicing of its satellites and access to commercial satellite servicing data throughout the operational life of the RSGS spacecraft.
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