Washington Update – September 11, 2019

PREPARED BY LEWIS-BURKE ASSOCIATES LLC

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Tufts Washington Update – September 11, 2019

Contents

  • Introduction
  • Policy and Agency Updates
    • OMB and OSTP Release FY 2021 R&D Budget Priorities Aimed at “Second Bold Era in S&T”
    • President Trump Establishes National Quantum Initiative Advisory Committee
    • NSF Announces “Reintegrating Biology” Initiative; Town Hall Discussions Set for September
    • NSF Reveals More Plans for SBE Reorganization
  • Funding Opportunities
    • NSF Announces a New Long-Term Ecological Research Urban Site
    • DARPA Releases Young Faculty Award
    • DARPA I20 Announces Semantic Forensics BAA for Disinformation Attacks
    • ONR Releases Solicitation for Atomic and Quantum Science and Technology
    • IARPA Releases RFI on Energy Storage Systems

Defense Policy Newsletter

September 4, 2019 | Lewis-Burke Associates LLC
View Full Report: Defense Policy Newsletter – September 4, 2019

IN THIS ISSUE

ON THE FRONT LINES

  • 5G Moves to the Forefront of DOD Technology Priorities

NATIONAL SECURITY NEWS

  • National Security Commission on AI Releases Interim Report
  • DHS Cybersecurity Agency Clarifies Mission and Assesses Threat Priorities with New Strategic Plan

FUNDING AND ENGAGEMENT OPPORTUNITIES

  • DARPA Releases Young Faculty Award Research Announcement
  • DARPA Announces Additional Polyplexus Pilot Topics for Fall 2019
  • DARPA I20 Releases BAA for Symbiotic Design Program
  • DARPA MTO Releases BAA for FOCII Program
  • DOD Releases FOA for Defense Education and Civilian University Research
  • IARPA Releases RFI on Energy Storage Systems
  • Space Accelerator Program Seeks Small Business Engagement
  • AFRL Seeks Engagement with Startups
  • Air Force Announces Additional Pitch Days
  • Military Services and DARPA Pre-Release SBIR/STTR Program Announcements

WHAT WE’RE READING

  • Weaponizing Biotech: How China’s Military Is Preparing for a ‘New Domain of Warfare’
  • AI Task Force Taking Giant Leaps Forward
  • DIA Director Outlines Top Three Priorities
  • Dear Tech Workers, U.S. Service Members Need Your Help

Washington Update – August 6, 2019

PREPARED BY LEWIS-BURKE ASSOCIATES LLC

View Full Report: Tufts Washington Update – August 6, 2019

Contents

  • Introduction
  • Funding Opportunities
    • National Science Foundation Releases Joint Machine Learning for Wireless Networking System Opportunity with Intel
    • Air Force Academy Releases BAA for New Approaches in AI/AS Education
    • Institute of Museum and Library Services Releases NOFOs for Library Workforce and Innovation

Defense Policy Newsletter

August 1, 2019 | Lewis-Burke Associates LLC
View Full Report: Defense Policy Newsletter – August 1, 2019

IN THIS ISSUE

VIEW FROM THE HILL

  • Congress and the White House Strike a New Two-Year Budget Agreement Lifting Spending Caps
  • House Passes NDAA, Moving Bill to Conference

NATIONAL SECURITY NEWS

  • Mark Esper Confirmed as Defense Secretary, Focuses Efforts on Filling Vacancies
  • Director of National Intelligence Resigns, President Trump Names New Intel Chief
  • Army Futures Command Leadership Illuminates Approach to Small Business and Academic Outreach
  • DOD Chief Technology Office Launches New Web Sites
  • AFRL Joins IBM Q Network to Form New Quantum Information Technology Hub in New York
  • DARPA Announces Launch of Microsystems Exploration Program
  • DOD to Stand Up New Information Security Office on Cybersecurity
  • NSA to Launch First Cybersecurity Directorate this Fall
  • White House Releases Updated Strategic Plan for AI R&D, Congress Develops AI Legislation

FUNDING AND ENGAGEMENT OPPORTUNITIES

  • Air Force Academy Releases BAA for New Approaches in Artificial Intelligence Education
  • AFRL to Issue BAA for Operationalizing Machine Learning for Command and Control
  • AFRL Announces Defense Production Act Title III FOA for Domestic Production Capability and Capacity
  • Army Center Seeks Information on Cybersecurity Defense Operations and Research
  • Army Research Laboratory Issues RFI for Partnership Intermediary Agreement
  • CDMRP Releases Pre-Announcements for New Programs in Pain Management and Combat Readiness
  • Chemical and Biological Defense S&T Conference Registration Opens
  • DARPA Publishes BAA for Information Innovation Office Intent-Defined Adaptive Software (IDAS)
  • DARPA Announces SBIR/STTR Opportunity for Side Channel Attack Testbench Estimator (SCATE)
  • DMRDP Releases Restoring Warfighters with Neuromusculoskeletal Injuries Research Award (RESTORE)
  • Military Operational Medicine Research Program Releases RFI for Pilot Program on Psychological Conditions Associated with Sexual Assault
  • Military Operational Medicine Research Program Releases RFI for PREVENTS National Research Strategy
  • NITRD NCO Issues RFI on Strategic Computing

WHAT WE’RE READING

  • Electronic Warfare Spending on the Rise
  • The U.S. Army is Making Synthetic Biology a Priority
  • Think Tank Makes Recommendations on the U.S. Defense Department’s Role in Health Security 
  • DARPA’S $1.5-Billion Remake of U.S. Electronics: Progress Report 
  • VA Appoints First-Ever Artificial Intelligence Director 

Washington Update – July 26, 2019

PREPARED BY LEWIS-BURKE ASSOCIATES LLC

View Full Report: Tufts Washington Update – July 26, 2019

Contents

  • Introduction
  • Congressional and Administration Updates
    • Congress and the White House Strike a New Two-Year Budget Agreement Lifting Spending Caps
  • Agency Updates
    • National Science Foundation Reveals More Plans for Social Behavioral and Economic Sciences (SBE) Directorate Reorganization
    • Status and Upcoming Competition for Department of Energy Frontier Research Centers
    • Department of Energy Research and Funding Priorities for Materials and Chemistry Research
    • Networking and Information Technology Research and Development (NITRD) National Coordination Office Issues RFI on Strategic Computing
  • Funding Opportunities
    • National Endowment for the Humanities Releases Grant to Host Convenings on K-12 History and Civics
    • Army Research Laboratory Issues RFI for Partnership Intermediary Agreement
    • U.S. Agency for International Development New Partnerships Initiative (NPI) Announces Call for Concept Papers in Global Health
    • Department of Homeland Security Releases Solicitations for Terrorism Prevention and Counterterrorism Research (TPCR) Center of Excellence

Washington Update – July 10, 2019

PREPARED BY LEWIS-BURKE ASSOCIATES LLC

View Full Report: Tufts Washington Update – July 10, 2019

Contents:

  • Introduction
  • Policy Updates
    • White House Releases Updated Strategic Plan for Artificial Intelligence R&D, Congress Develops Artificial Intelligence Legislation
  • Agency Updates
    • FEMA Accepting Comments on Development of New Pre-Disaster Hazard Mitigation Program
  • Funding Opportunities
    • U.S. Agency for International Development Announces Call for Partnership Concept Papers for New Partnerships Initiative
    • Department of Labor Announces Apprenticeships: Closing the Skills Gap Grant Program
    • Institute of Museum and Library Releases National Leadership Grants for Libraries
    • Office of Naval Research Releases Special Notice on Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning Enabled Capabilities
    • Office of Naval Research Releases Special Notice on the Science of Artificial Intelligence

Defense Policy Newsletter

July 1, 2019 | Lewis-Burke Associates LLC

IN THIS ISSUE

ON THE FRONT LINES

  • Lewis-Burke Hosts Army Futures Command Workshop

VIEW FROM THE HILL

  • Senate Passes FY 2020 Defense Authorization Bill; HASC Sends Its Version for Floor Consideration

NATIONAL SECURITY NEWS

  • Key Defense Leadership Changes Breed Uncertainty for Research Initiatives DARPA Hosts Discover DSO Day and Releases Office-wide BAA for Research and Technology
  • DARPA’s Defense Sciences Office Adds New Deputy Director, Program Managers Air Force Research Laboratory Breaks Ground on New Laboratory

FUNDING AND ENGAGEMENT OPPORTUNITIES

  • DOD Releases Annual Solicitation for Vannevar Bush Faculty Fellowship
  • Military Health System Releases First Health Services Research Funding Opportunity
  • Registration Open for the Military Health System Research Symposium
  • ONR Releases FOA for Young Investigator Program
  • ONR Releases Special Notice on AI/ML Enabled Capabilities
  • ONR Releases Special Notice on the Science of Artificial Intelligence
  • DARPA DSO Announces Gamma Ray Inspection Technology (GRIT) Program
  • DARPA TTO Releases BAA for Disruptive Capabilities for Future Warfare
  • DARPA Announces Virtual Intelligence Processing (VIP) Opportunity for Artificial Intelligence
  • IARPA Releases RFI for Data Sources for Technology Performance Prediction
  • IARPA Releases RFI for System-Level Application Modeling

WHAT WE’RE READING

  • Critical Update: Inside DARPA’s DARPA
  • Beating the Americans at Their Own Game: An Offset Strategy with Chinese Characteristics
  • A Federal Strategy to Ensure Secure and Reliable Supplies of Critical Minerals

ON THE FRONT LINES

Lewis-Burke Hosts Army Futures Command Workshop
Lewis-Burke Associates recently hosted representatives from the Army Futures Command (AFC) to discuss AFC’s goals and how universities can contribute to solving the challenges facing the Army.  AFC representatives included Adam Jay Harrison, Command Innovation Officer of Army Futures Command, John Eicke of the Army Research Laboratory’s Office of Strategy Management, and Christopher Zember, Vice President for Advanced Technology Operations at Alion Science and Technology, which supports the Army.  A consistent theme during the workshop was the Army’s desire to better facilitate communication between the military and academia, two communities with different interests and challenges, to help the research community better understand the challenges the Army is trying to solve.  AFC also discussed its goals for the new command and solicited ideas for how it can work with the university community. 

VIEW FROM THE HILL

Senate Passes FY 2020 Defense Authorization Bill; HASC Sends Its Version for Floor Consideration
Both the House and Senate Armed Services Committees (HASC, SASC) approved their versions of the fiscal year (FY) 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) last month, setting in motion full consideration in their respective chambers with a goal of passage this summer.  The Republican-controlled Senate handily passed its NDAA on June 27 by a vote of 86-8, setting up the bill for disagreements with the Democrat-controlled House over the total spending level, nuclear capabilities, and other policy issues.  The House is accepting amendments to their bill in anticipation of considering it on the floor in mid-July, but its passage could be stymied by language requiring congressional approval for military action against Iran.  Both bills include authorized funding and provisions aimed at aligning technology development with policy formulation; increasing support for scientific research on artificial intelligence/machine learning, quantum information sciences, hypersonics, and biotechnology; strengthening efforts to develop the STEM workforce and promote diversity; and protecting the defense research enterprise from foreign influence.
 
The SASC NDAA would authorize Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation (RDT&E) at $104 billion and the HASC NDAA would authorize RDT&E at $100.7 billion, a 13.4 and 9.8 percent increase, respectively, above the FY 2019 NDAA-enacted level.  The notable difference between the two versions is the Senate’s continued support for the President’s priorities and top-level funding number of $750 billion, while the House bill would authorize funding at $733 billion.  The House bill demonstrates HASC Chairman Adam Smith’s (D-WA) priorities, including limiting the proliferation of nuclear weapons and forbidding military construction funds to be used to a construct a wall along the southern border.  In a win for universities and the research community, the HASC NDAA would reject the Administration’s proposed cuts to basic and applied research, and the SASC NDAA would provide increases to basic research (6.1) for the Army, Air Force, and Defense-wide accounts.  The House and Senate bills continue to support many of the research priorities evangelized by Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering (USD(R&E)) Mike Griffin.  Both NDAA bills prioritize efforts in cybersecurity through varying provisions and show a concern for the future of the defense workforce and responding to emerging threats and technical capabilities. 
 
The NDAA authorizes funding for DOD programs, but it is ultimately up to the House and Senate Appropriations Committees to allocate funds for FY 2020.  The House Appropriations Committee has made quick work of its appropriations bills and approved the DOD spending bill on May 21.  This bill included a 6.1 percent increase for RDT&E.  The Senate has been slow to start its appropriations process due to a lack of a bipartisan budget deal and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has suggested he will not set his own spending limits without an agreement between the House and White House. 

Sources and Additional Information:

  • For full details of each chamber’s NDAA, the House FY 2020 NDAA report is available here.  
  • The House Armed Services Committee Subcommittee on Intelligence and Emerging Threats and Capabilities report for the FY 2020 NDAA is available here
  • The Senate FY 2020 NDAA report is available here.
  • Lewis-Burke’s full analysis written on June 13 can be found here.

NATIONAL SECURITY NEWS

Key Defense Leadership Changes Breed Uncertainty for Research Initiatives
The Pentagon is starting to feel more like a hop-on, hop-off bus tour in the wake of a series of departures and shifts by senior officials from the Department of Defense (DOD), including from relatively nascent research organizations aimed at disruptive innovation and prototyping.  The changes, starting with the high-profile resignation of Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan and withdrawal of his nomination as Secretary of Defense, have created a slate of “acting” defense officials.  There is also speculation about additional departures, including reports that Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering (USD(R&E)) Mike Griffin may be on his way out.
 
Shanahan announced his resignation and withdrew from Cabinet consideration June 18 following the publication of reports of alleged domestic violence incidents within his family years earlier.  Army Secretary Mark Esper, Raytheon’s former vice president of government relations and graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, assumed the role of Acting Secretary of Defense on June 24.  He issued a memorandum to all DOD employees that day outlining his priorities and reaffirming the objectives of the National Defense Strategy, as well as describing plans to expand its lines of effort.
 
The list of “acting” DOD leaders also includes:

  • David Norquist, Pentagon comptroller who is performing the duties of the deputy defense secretary
  • Ryan McCarthy, Army undersecretary who is acting Army secretary
  • Jim McPherson, Army general counsel who is performing the duties of Army undersecretary
  • Matthew Donovan, Air Force undersecretary who is acting Air Force secretary
  • John Roth, Air Force comptroller who is performing the duties of the Air Force undersecretary

President Trump said June 21 he intends to nominate Esper, Norquist, and McCarthy for the posts in which they are acting but those nominations have not been sent to Congress at the time of this writing.  The White House also intends to nominate Dana Deasy to the position of DOD Chief Information Officer, which is his current job, but now requires Senate confirmation per a provision in the fiscal year (FY) 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).
 
Deeper in the DOD research and engineering organization, additional resignations came as a surprise and raised questions about their causes and the fate of nascent DOD prototyping and rapid fielding organizations.  Chris Shank, Director of the Strategic Capabilities Office (SCO) – created by former Defense Secretary Ash Carter to rapidly mature capabilities for the warfighter– resigned abruptly after being told his office would be transferred to DARPA.  Both the House and Senate Armed Services Committees included language in their respective versions of the FY 2020 NDAA restricting the move.  David Honey, a special assistant to the DARPA director with roots in the Intelligence Community, is reported to be replacing Shank until a new SCO director is appointed.
 
Fred Kennedy, who left DARPA four months ago to lead the newly created Space Development Agency (SDA) within USD(R&E), also resigned abruptly in late June to return to DARPA, following reported disagreements with Under Secretary Griffin.  The announcement of his departure came a few days after two public appearances by Kennedy, where he expressed enthusiasm to the space community about the approach and opportunities being planned within SDA.  At an Air Force Association Mitchell Institute event on June 14, Kennedy stressed the need to look at the value of mass production as it applies to space and said he believed bringing government funding to the commercial sector would reignite interest in the younger community to work in space again.  Kennedy said his small staff, which had just brought on one other government employee, would deliver an architecture to the Secretary of Defense by the end of the summer, conduct space-based demonstrations in FY 2020, and deliver the first operational capability in FY 2022. 
 
Derek Tournear, who most recently worked at Harris Corporation and is a former DARPA program manager, was recently appointed by Griffin as the Assistant Director for Space under USD(R&E) and will take on the additional responsibility as acting director of the Space Development Agency. 

DARPA Hosts Discover DSO Day and Releases Office-wide BAA for Research and Technology
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) hosted a Discover DSO Day (D3) on June 18 to outline the technical research areas for this year’s Defense Sciences Office (DSO) office-wide broad agency announcement (BAA).  Lewis-Burke Associates staff attended the D3 event, which provided a broad overview of DSO’s mission and best practices for successful, expedited proposals.  The D3 event also shared presentations on DSO’s four technical areas of interest, outlined in the BAA below.  The June Discover DSO newsletter can be found here and the contact list for the event can be found here.
 
In conjunction with the D3 event, DSO released its annual office-wide BAA for research and technology development, emphasizing the creation of disruptive technologies to protect national security.  DARPA DSO seeks innovative proposals in basic or applied research in one or more of its four technical domains: (1) Frontiers in Math, Computation and Design, (2) Limits of Sensing and Sensors, (3) Complex Social Systems, and (4) Anticipating Surprise.  Executive summaries and abstracts are strongly encouraged prior to submitting a full proposal, and full proposals are accepted on a rolling basis through June 12, 2020 at 4:00 pm ET.  The full solicitation can be found on www.grants.gov under solicitation number “HR001119S0071.”

DARPA’s Defense Sciences Office Adds New Deputy Director, Program Managers
Lt. Col. Philip Root was named deputy director of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Defense Sciences Office (DSO) this June, replacing Dr. Mark Rosker, who became Director of DARPA’s Microsystems Technology Office (MTO) in April 2019.  Lt. Col. Root was previously a program manager in DARPA’s Tactical Technology Office (TTO), overseeing research that integrates automation and military operations.  He will still oversee the Squad X and Urban Reconnaissance through Supervised Autonomy programs in his new role.  Prior to his work at DARPA, Root was the director of the Center for Innovation and Engineering at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and was responsible for cadet and faculty research to support Army operations.  As an officer, Root was deployed to Afghanistan, developing and implementing solutions to support the military’s cloud-based intelligence analytics.  Root holds both a doctorate and Master of Science from MIT and is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy. Additional information about him is available here.

DARPA DSO also added two program managers:

  • Dr. Bartlett Russell, a former senior program manager and human systems and autonomy research lead at Lockheed Martin’s Advanced Technology Laboratories, joined DSO as a program manager this April.  Russell’s work will focus on understanding human cognitive and social behavior to help decision making, analytics, and assist in the generation of autonomous and AI systems.  Bartlett holds a doctorate in neuroscience and cognitive science from the University of Maryland, College Park, a master’s degree in security studies from Georgetown University, and a bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University. Additional info can be found here.
  • Dr. Mark Wroebel, a former lead program manager for the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction Office, recently joined DSO as a program manager.  At DHS, Wroebel managed a research portfolio that included advanced nuclear and radiological detection technologies.  At DARPA, his research interests include development of new capabilities for detecting and interdicting national security threats associated with all types of weapons of mass destruction, which include chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear weapons.  Wroebel is a retired U.S. Air Force officer, where his field of focus was with health physics and radiological engineering.  He holds a Ph.D. in environmental health sciences from the University of Michigan and holds both a master’s and bachelor’s degree in nuclear engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Air Force Research Laboratory Breaks Ground on New Laboratory
The U.S. Air Force broke ground on a $12.8 million facility on June 6 at Kirtland Air Force Base, NM.  The facility will play a pivotal role as the Air Force Research Laboratory’s (AFRL) Space Control Laboratory.  Officials say that the new lab will consolidate existing efforts being conducted across the New Mexico base.  The construction of this project falls in line with wider efforts in the administration’s plan for a proposed space force.
 
Colonel Eric Felt, director of the Space Vehicles Directorate at the base, said that the new lab will focus its research efforts on space warfighting technology and contain specialized labs and equipment.  The Space Control Lab will also help the Air Force address threats from other countries, such as anti-satellite weapons, and from space, such as asteroids.  The facility plans to include office and lab space for 65 civilian and military contractors and spans across 26,000 square feet for labs, offices, and secure administrative spaces.  Officials say the lab is scheduled to be completed in July of next year.

FUNDING AND ENGAGEMENT OPPORTUNITIES

DOD Releases Annual Solicitation for Vannevar Bush Faculty Fellowship
The Department of Defense (DOD) released the fiscal year (FY) 2020 Vannevar Bush Faculty Fellowship (VBFF) funding opportunity announcement (FOA).  The VBFF program is intended to attract and engage the best and brightest in academia to conduct a range of basic, unclassified research in areas of interest to DOD.  DOD also utilizes the VBFF program to foster long-term relationships with outstanding academic researchers and increase the number of technical experts working on defense-related problems. Proposals are invited in the following DOD basic research areas:

  • Engineering biology
  • Quantum information science
  • Cognitive neuroscience
  • Novel engineering materials
  • Applied mathematics
  • Other fields of research with high potential (more information included below)

DOD is accepting white papers until August 16, 2019 at 11:59 PM EDT and full proposals will be by invitation only and are due January 17, 2020 at 11:59 PM EST.  DOD anticipates that the maximum award will total $3 million over five years. The full solicitation can be found at www.grants.gov under solicitation number “N00014-19-S-F010.”
 

Military Health System Releases First Health Services Research Funding Opportunity
The Department of Defense (DOD) Military Health System (MHS) released a new funding opportunity announcement (FOA) for Health Services Research (HSR) for fiscal year (FY) 2019.  This is the first ever HSR opportunity and is focused on “how social factors, financing systems, organizational structures and processes, health technologies, and personal behaviors affect access to health care, the quality and cost of health care, and ultimately health and well-being.”  This funding opportunity follows the reorganization and consolidation of DOD’s healthcare delivery services under a single management structure, as mandated by the FY 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).  Priority research topics include impact of health system mergers; healthcare cost and economics; variations in quality and outcomes of healthcare delivery; health readiness; and variations in outcomes associated with health risk factors or geography.
 
This is a unique FOA that responds to current needs of the Department.  Subsequent FOAs on the same topic are not guaranteed.  Faculty with expertise in the topic areas should strongly consider applying.  Letters of intent (LOIs) are required and due by July 12 at 12:00 PM ET, and if invited to submit, full proposals are due by August 23 at 12:00 PM ET.  Please note that there is a limit on submissions.  Only two LOIs are permitted per PI and organization, and only one proposal application from a PI and organization will be considered.  The FOA is available here.  

Registration Open for the Military Health System Research Symposium
The registration for the Military Health System Research Symposium (MHSRS) is now open.  The MHSRS is the Department of Defense’s (DOD) annual meeting to discuss “military-unique research and development,” focusing on military medicine.  The Symposium will be August 19-22, 2019, at the Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center in Kissimmee, Florida.

This year, MHSRS will feature breakout sessions on infectious disease, occupational and environmental exposures, hemorrhage control and blood/blood products, autonomous medical systems, human performance optimization, psychological health, and many others.  In addition to DOD officials, the officials from the Department of Health and Human Services are often present.  The Symposium offers an opportunity for academia to engage with program managers and DOD officials, who are often hard to reach, on military biomedical and health-related research topics.  Details on the submission process, topic areas and descriptions, and information on the 2019 MHSRS are available here.

ONR Releases FOA for Young Investigator Program
On June 21, the Office of Naval Research (ONR) released its fiscal year (FY) 2020 funding opportunity announcement (FOA) for the Young Investigator Program (YIP).  This popular program, which is also offered by other Department of Defense (DOD) agencies, including the Army Research Office (ARO) and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR), provides early career university faculty a path into the Navy’s research enterprise through multi-year research grants.  With this program, ONR identifies promising young tenure-track faculty who demonstrate the ability to deliver innovative research aligned with ONR’s research priorities. 
 
DOD will accept any proposals that address research areas outlined in ONR’s broad research portfolio that are of interest to ONR program managers.  A complete list of topics of interest to each of ONR’s five departments – Information, Cyber and Spectrum Superiority (Code 31); Ocean Battlespace and Expeditionary Access (Code 32); Mission Capable, Persistent and Survivable Naval Platforms (Code 33); Warfighter Performance (Code 34); and Aviation, Force Projection and Integrated Defense (Code 35) – is available on ONR’s science and technology homepage located at here
 
Proposals should be submitted through www.grants.gov no later than August 16, 2019 at 11:59 EST under solicitation number “N00014-19-S-F008.”  Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact the program manager in their technical area to discuss their research ideas before submitting a proposal.  Proposers may also send brief, informal pre-proposals to their designated ONR program officer and copy ONRYIP@navy.mil.
 
ONR Releases Special Notice on AI/ML Enabled Capabilities
On June 25, the Office of Naval Research (ONR) released a special notice for research to support artificial intelligence/machine learning (AI/ML) enabled capabilities for naval operations.  The notice was released under ONR’s long-range broad agency announcement (BAA).  The Navy ultimately seeks to develop AI systems that can assist in decision making to support mission planning, re-planning and execution of naval missions, including AI-enabled capabilities for command & control, logistics, intelligence, and training.  This special notice is only focused on applications of developed AI/ML methods.  Research pertaining to new AI/ML techniques is not of interest to this special notice, though it may be supported under a future opportunity on the Science of AI.
 
The special notice lists a number of research topics of interest under the following categories:

  • Analysis of Factors Affecting Possible Courses of Action (COA)
  • Enemy Course of Action (ECOA) Development
  • COA/ ECOA Assessment and Comparison
  • Intelligence Estimation
  • Logistics Estimation
  • Communication/ Deception
  • Planning and Tasking
  • Provide for Coordination
  • Underlying Support Services
  • AI Enablers

White papers are strongly encouraged, but not required, and should be submitted via email to Martin.Kruger1@navy.mil no later than July 15, 2019.  Full proposals should be submitted under the full Long-Range BAA through www.grants.gov, under solicitation number “N00014-19-S-B001,” no later than September 6, 2019.  ONR anticipates funding five to 15 individual awards ranging from $1 million to $3 million per year, with a performance period of two to four years.  The special notice is located here or at www.grants.gov under solicitation number “N00014-19-S-SN07.”

ONR Releases Special Notice on the Science of Artificial Intelligence
The Office of Naval Research (ONR) released a special notice on June 28 to solicit basic and applied research proposals for new artificial intelligence (AI)-based techniques to advance future naval applications.  The overall science and technology (S&T) efforts will fall within the Technology Readiness Level (TRL) range of 1-5, which covers basic research to prototyping and experimentation.
 
ONR is specifically seeking AI research proposals in eight fundamental and/or applied research topics:

  • AI for Predictive Maintenance
  • Rapid Learning of Task Procedures
  • Scalable Verification and Validation Tools for Artificial Intelligence in the Naval Domain
  • Brain-Inspired Deep Learning with Spiking Neurons
  • Brain-based computation
  • Explainable AI Systems
  • Mission-focused AI
  • Predictive Adaptations to Support Human Performance and Injury Prevention

White papers are strongly encouraged, but not required, and are due on August 15, 2019 no later than 2:00pm EST.  Full proposals are due on October 15, 2019 no later than 2:00pm EST.  Decisions are anticipated to be made by November 2, 2019 and awards are anticipated to begin on March 1, 2020.  The full solicitation can be found at www.grants.gov under solicitation number “N00014-19-S-SN08.”

DARPA DSO Announces Gamma Ray Inspection Technology (GRIT) Program
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Defense Sciences Office (DSO) recently announced its Gamma Ray Inspection Technology (GRIT) program which seeks “novel approaches to achieve high-intensity, tunable, and narrow-bandwidth sources of gamma ray radiation.”  Approaches should enable a wide range of national security, industrial, and medical applications through advanced accelerator technology, high-energy laser systems, novel control systems, and new x-ray and gamma ray detector technology.  
 
DARPA will hold a proposers day webinar on July 8, 2019 at 2:00pm ET for interested participants and will post slides the following day.  The GRIT proposers day solicitation can be found on www.fbo.gov under solicitation number “DARPA-SN-19-59.”

DARPA TTO Releases BAA for Disruptive Capabilities for Future Warfare
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Tactical Technology Office (TTO) released its BAA for disruptive capabilities for future warfare.  DARPA TTO seeks technology proposals that challenge the architecture of combat, specifically in the areas of:

  • Air systems (undeterrable air presence)
  • Ground Systems (break the symmetry of ground combat)
  • Maritime Systems (stand-in power projection and application from the sea)
  • Space Systems (proliferated architecture of commodity spacecraft, sensors, and systems) 

Executive summaries and abstracts are strongly encouraged prior to submitting a full proposal, and full proposals are due on June 11, 2020 by 4:00 pm ET.  The full solicitation can be found on www.grants.gov under solicitation number “HR001119S0054.”

DARPA Announces Virtual Intelligence Processing (VIP) Opportunity for Artificial Intelligence
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has issued an Artificial Intelligence Exploration (AIE) opportunity for third wave AI basic and applied research.  DARPA’s Virtual Intelligence Processing (VIP) program seeks to explore mathematical and computational approaches, including algorithms and models, that will contribute to next generation processors and the third wave of AI.  The VIP program lasts 18 months and is expected to begin on September 17, 2019.  Proposals are due on July 15, 2019 at 4:00 pm ET.  The full solicitation can be found on www.fbo.gov under solicitation number “DARPA-PA-18-02-08.”
 
IARPA Releases RFI for Data Sources for Technology Performance Prediction
The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) released on June 12 a request for information (RFI) on Seeking Data Sources for Technology Performance Prediction.  The RFI seeks information on datasets that “document the historical performance of technologies.”   IARPA is interested in all technology areas, but especially in AI, collection and sensing, communication, computing, cybersecurity, energy and power, human performance modification, materials, quantum sciences, and space sciences.  Responses to the RFI are due on August 6, 2019 no later than 4:00 PM EST.  The full solicitation can be found on www.fbo.gov under solicitation number “IARPA-RFI-19-07.”

IARPA Releases RFI for System-Level Application Modeling
The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) released on June 25 a request for information (RFI) on System-Level Application Modeling (SLAM).  The RFI seeks information on future modeling and simulation (ModSim) research for large-scale computational and data-analytic applications.  The RFI includes specific research disciplines, including high-fidelity techniques, AI and ML methods, unified modeling of performance, power, and resilience, and other types of modeling priorities.  Responses to the RFI are due on July 29, 2019 no later than 4:00pm EST.  The full solicitation can be found on www.fbo.gov under solicitation number “IARPA-RFI-19-08.”  


WHAT WE’RE READING

Critical Update: Inside DARPA’s DARPA
NextGov interviewed Valerie Browning, director of DARPA’s Defense Sciences Office (DSO) to discuss future technology that will be shaping the direction of society and the military.  Browning outlined her opinions on the future of quantum computing and artificial intelligence, while also expressing her belief that more government research funding does not necessarily mean more results.  The full 20-minute interview can be accessed here.

Beating the Americans at Their Own Game: An Offset Strategy with Chinese Characteristics
The Center for a New American Security (CNAS) published an article authored by former Deputy Secretary of Defense Bob Work and Greg Grant, Work’s former special assistant, comparing strategies used during the Cold War with the approaching arms race against Russia and China.  Work is known as the architect of the Pentagon’s Third Offset Strategy to maintain military dominance against adversaries through technological superiority and cost-imposing capabilities.  They argue that the Chinese have rapidly invested for the past two decades to achieve technological parity with the U.S. and avoid a similar fate to the Soviet Union.  The full article can be accessed here.

A Federal Strategy to Ensure Secure and Reliable Supplies of Critical Minerals
The Department of Commerce, in response to President Trump’s December 2017 Executive Order, released the “Federal Strategy to Ensure Secure and Reliable Supplies of Critical Minerals.”  The strategy warns that the U.S. over-relies on importing critical minerals that are vital to commercial products and military systems.  Among other recommendations, the strategy has a call to action to advance transformational research and development pertaining to critical minerals, including:

  • “Diversifying domestic critical mineral sources;
  • More efficiently processing, manufacturing, and recycling critical minerals to minimize waste and increase supply; and
  • Developing alternatives to critical minerals.”

The report notes that fundamental research to better understand materials, and to develop new synthesis and processing techniques will be crucial in this effort.  The full report can be found here.

Washington Update – June 25, 2019

PREPARED BY LEWIS-BURKE ASSOCIATES LLC

View Full Report: Tufts Washington Update – June 25, 2019

Contents:

  • Introduction
  • Administration and Congressional Updates
    • House Passes First Spending Package for Fiscal Year 2020
    • House and Senate Armed Services Committees Approve FY 2020 National Defense Authorization Bills .
  • Hearing Updates
    • House Science Committee Holds Hearing on Combating Sexual Harassment
  • Agency Updates and Funding Opportunities
    • National Institutes of Health Advisory Committee to the Director Grapples with Sexual Harassment, Foreign Influence
    • Department of Defense Releases Funding Opportunity Announcement for Vannevar Bush Faculty Fellowship
    • Office of Naval Research Releases FY 2020 Funding Opportunity Announcement for Young Investigator Program
    • Institute of Education Sciences Education Research Grant Competitions Announced
    • National Institutes of Health Future Funding Opportunity for Specialized Centers of Excellence on Environmental Health Disparities Research
    • Department of Energy Office of Advanced Scientific Computing Research to Host Townhalls on the Future of Computing
    • Department of Transportation Releases FY 2019 Advanced Transportation and Congestion Management Technologies Deployment Competition

Funding Opportunity: DOD Releases FOA for Vannevar Bush Faculty Fellowship

Lewis-Burke Associates LLC – June 20, 2019

The Department of Defense (DOD) released June 18 the fiscal year (FY) 2020 Vannevar Bush Faculty Fellowship (VBFF) funding opportunity announcement (FOA). The VBFF program is intended to attract and engage the best and brightest in academia to conduct a range of basic, unclassified research in areas of interest to DOD. DOD also utilizes the VBFF program to foster long-term relationships with outstanding academic researchers and increase the number of technical experts working on defense-related problems. DOD is particularly interested in ambitious “blue sky” research that will lead to revolutionary discoveries, new fields of research, or disruption of existing theories. The program solicitation was released by the Office of Naval Research (ONR) and is overseen by the Basic Research Office within the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research & Engineering. DOD will host a webinar on July 10, 2019 to provide a program overview, grant application information, topic areas of interest, and answer general questions (more information regarding the webinar is below).

Proposals are invited in the following DOD basic research areas:

  1. Engineering Biology: DOD is interested in this research because of potential applications to specialty materials and biological sensing to improve many warfighter capabilities. The solicitation explicitly calls for “innovative and fundamental, basic research that will enable engineering biology through the understanding and controlling of biochemical processes, with the eventual goal of facilitating the engineering of complex natural or synthetic biological systems. Multidisciplinary research, potentially combining theoretical, computational, developmental, systems, physical, biophysical, biochemical, physiological, and/or biomolecular approaches, are likely necessary to make biology a scalable top-down engineering discipline.”
  2. Quantum Information Science (QIS): DOD requests research for QIS to gain the advantage that quantum phenomena offer to provide revolutionary capabilities improving our foundational understanding of quantum information and processes, physical frameworks to support quantum information, and using quantum physics for detection purposes.
  3. Cognitive Neuroscience: DOD is interested in basic research that provide insights to the mechanisms of human cognitive skills. The studies can be “theoretical, computational, neuronal, and molecular basic neuroscience research to study the mechanisms of human cognitive skills. In addition, research in neural activity and brain functions for the development of brain-machine interfaces and cognitive processes and demands for warfighters are of interest. Further, DOD states that “revolutionary research is needed to elucidate brain functions, their relationships with neuron structure, network topologies, brain chemistry, towards creating novel approaches in artificial intelligence.”
  4. Novel Engineered Materials: DOD is focused on research for the discovery of new engineering materials that enable “transformative functionalities” as well as controlling material behaviors under extreme environments. In particular, DOD is looking for research that focuses on exploitation of novel materials’ properties that could impact multiple technologies, engineered materials with behaviors not observed in naturally occurring materials, and materials that include dynamic behavior considerations.
  5. Applied Mathematics (theory and experiments) and Statistics: DOD seeks mathematical breakthroughs to provide the foundations to address future DOD challenges such as modeling complex network systems, compressive sensing, encryption and authentication, artificial intelligence, deep learning, and constructive mathematics. DOD also states the critical need for “numerical simulation of complex and large-scale physical phenomena associated with natural environments or engineered systems.”
  6. Other fields of research with high potential: Applicants can submit a research proposal that does not fit into one of the aforementioned categories; all proposals must support DOD research priorities and focus on basic, transformative science that provides new thinking about the phenomena being studied including “combustion at high speed, multi-scale physical processes, propulsion, shielding concepts, etc.”

All awardees will receive the title of VBFF fellow and will be introduced to DOD’s critical research needs through interactions with DOD science and technology leaders, visits to DOD labs, and invitations to technical workshops.

Due Dates: White papers are required and due by August 16, 2019 at 11:59 PM EDT. Applicants must register on the AcquTrak portal by August 14, 2019 at 11:59 PM EDT to submit a white paper. Full proposals will be by invitation only and are due January 17, 2020 at 11:59 PM EST.

Total Funding and Award Size: DOD anticipates that awards will be made in the form of grants to U.S. institutions of higher education at a maximum award of $3 million over five years. The solicitation does not indicate how many awards DOD intends to make and notes DOD may not allocate fellowships equally among the topics. In FY 2019, 10 awards were made – three for quantum, three for materials/manufacturing, two for cognitive neuroscience, one for physics and one for information/social networks.

Eligibility and Limitations: The competition is open to accredited U.S. institutions of higher education (universities) with doctoral degree-granting programs. The program seeks outstanding faculty, who are either a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, with tenure and full-time research staff with the skill, knowledge, and resources necessary to conduct the proposed research as the principal investigator (PI). PIs may submit only one application in response to this funding opportunity. There is no limit to the number of applications an institution may submit.

Webinar: The webinar will be held on July 10, 2019. The webinar can be accessed as follows:

WebEx Meeting
Meeting Number: 734 968 495
Password: VBFF2019
https://noblis.webex.com/noblis/j.php?MTID=m3b9d993630478d83e551385b020f4a903

Join by Video System
Dial: 734968495@noblis.webex.com, you can also dial 173.243.2.68 and enter the meeting number.

Join by Phone
1 (844) 740-1264 (Toll Free)
1 (415) 655-0003 (Toll)
Access Code: 734 968 495

Sources and Additional Background:
• The full solicitation can be found at www.grants.gov under solicitation number “N00014-19-S-F010.”
• The announcement of the FY 2019 winners can be found at https://dod.defense.gov/News/News-Releases/News-Release-View/Article/1831652/dod-announces-2019-class-of-vannevar-bush-faculty-fellowship/.
• DOD’s overview of the VBFF program can be found at https://basicresearch.defense.gov/Programs/Vannevar-Bush-Faculty-Fellowship/.