The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is seeking “revolutionary” research ideas, according to an Oct. 27 Broad Agency Announcement (BAA).

Specifically, the DARPA Information Innovation Office (I2O) is looking for topics not already being addressed by ongoing I2O programs or solicitations.

In the BAA, I2O explained that its goal is to “ensure enduring advantage for the U.S. and its allies across a broad range of information technologies through the advancement of core technical foundations as well as the design of novel application concepts based on these foundations.” With that in mind, I2O said it was specifically interested in revolutionary research concerning four topic areas:

  • Proficient artificial intelligence (AI): I2O is focused on the exploration and advancement of a full range of AI techniques, including symbolic reasoning, statistical machine learning, grounded cognition, meta-learning, explanation and assurance, and hybrid methods
  • Advantage in cyber operations: The I2O cyber operations portfolio includes techniques, tools, and frameworks for the full range of cyber operations, and involves many layers and stages in systems, from endpoint to endpoint. I2O’s research explores network operations analytics, attribution of attacks, applied cryptography – such as secure multi-party computation – graceful-degradation and recovery from attacks, deterrence effects, and social engineering defense.
  • Confidence in the information domain: The information domain has become critical both to stability and to multi-domain operations in modern warfare. I2O programs focus on understanding online activity, building better technical models of strategic and tactical operations in the information domain, developing technologies to support stabilization efforts, and building on these to create improved situational awareness to inform strategic decision-making.
  • Resilient, adaptable, and secure systems: Engineering practices for software-reliant systems have evolved steadily over many decades, and yet systems remain vulnerable as functional and quality ambitions continue to outpace engineering capability. I2O is focused on creating new techniques, technologies, and tools that can lead to improvements in engineering practice for software-based systems for the military and its supply chain.

I2O noted that it may also consider submissions outside these areas if the proposal “involves the development of novel software?based capabilities having a promise to provide decisive information advantage for the U.S. and its allies.”

DARPA said it welcomes proposals from non-traditional sources in addition to current DARPA performers. Proposals are due Oct. 28, 2021.

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Kate Polit
Kate Polit
Kate Polit is MeriTalk's Assistant Copy & Production Editor covering the intersection of government and technology.