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March 2020 - January 2021

Defense-related Funding Opportunities

OSD Releases BAA for Fundamental Research in Socio-Mathematics of Information and Influence
Proposals due August 28, 2020
The Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering (OSD(R&E)), Basic Research Office (BRO) released a BAA for fundamental research in the socio-mathematics of information and influence.  This BAA seeks to expand understanding of future information warfare and the tracking and prediction of attempts at social manipulation.  BRO desires mathematical and social science solutions to analyze and predict human behaviors in dynamic environments.  Proposals should go beyond conventional methods and instead aim to produce novel disruptive frameworks to combat disinformation and cyber influence.  BRO strongly encourages proposals that employ combinations of expertise and proposals that examine evolutionary co-designs of threat and defense strategies, creating the ability to predict threat scenarios and verify defensive postures.

DOD ONR releases Vannevar Bush Faculty Fellowship FOA
White Papers due August 28, 2020
The DOD Office of Naval Research released the fiscal year 2021 Vannevar Bush Faculty Fellowship (VBFF) FOA.  The VBFF program attracts and engages the best and brightest in academia to conduct a range of basic, unclassified research.  DOD is particularly interested in ambitious “blue sky” research that will lead to revolutionary discoveries, new fields of research, or disruption of existing theories.  Specific research areas of interest include applied math and computer science; networks and AI; cognitive neuroscience; bioengineering; and materials science. Invited full proposals are due January 15, 2021. 

DARPA DSO Releases Disruption Opportunity for  Thermal Engineering using Material Physics (TEMP)
Application due September 1, 2020
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Defense Sciences Office (DSO) issued a disruption opportunity (DO) to explore basic or applied research concepts in radiative heat transfer.  The Thermal Engineering using Material Physics (TEMP) DO will specifically focus on developments in materials and physics to “control the direction and wavelength of thermal transport by radiation” in extreme thermal environments.  

DARPA I2O Releases BAA for Verified Security and Performance Enhancement of Large Legacy Software (V-SPELLS)
Application due September 9, 2020
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Information Innovation Office (I2O) issued a BAA for the Verified Security and Performance Enhancement of Large Legacy Software (V-SPELLS) program.  The V-SPELLS program aims to create a method for new codes to safely integrate into the large legacy code bases when introduced as enhancements or replacements to the system.

DOD Releases FY 2020 Defense Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (DEPSCoR) FOA
White Papers (required) due by September 21, 2020
The DEPSCoR competition encourages collaborations on basic research projects of interest to DOD and is structured to form a two-person team between an investigator with prior funding from the DOD (within the past seven years) and a researcher who has not previously received funding. Invited full proposals due February 15, 2021. Areas of interest include:

  • Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR): Cognitive and Computational Neurosciences; Space Science;  Agile Science of Test and Evaluation; and Materials with Extreme Properties.
  • Army Research Office (ARO): Propulsion and Energetics; Computational Architectures and Visualization; Optoelectronics; Probability and Statistics; Molecular Structure and Dynamics; Social and Behavioral Science; and Biotronics
  • Office of Naval Research (ONR): Aerospace Structures and Materials; Ocean Acoustics; Machine Learning, Reasoning, and Intelligence; and Power Electronics & Electromagnetism, Adaptive & Machinery Controls and Advanced Machinery Systems

AFRL Releases BAA for Quantum Information Sciences
BAA closes September 30, 2020
This effort seeks to advance and assess advanced algorithm designs and technologies harnessing emerging quantum computing techniques to support AFRL/RI’s Command, Control, Communications, Computers & Intelligence (C4I) mission. Individual awards will not normally exceed 36 months with dollar amounts ranging from $0.5 - 2 million.

AFRL Releases BAA Seeking Innovative Technologies and Techniques to Enhance Trust in Information Processing Systems
White Papers due December 4, 2020
 Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) released a multi-year broad agency announcement (BAA) on Foundations of Trusted Systems seeking white papers for “research, development, integration, test and evaluation” of technologies and techniques that can establish trust foundations in hardware and software.  AFRL aims to enhance the security, resilience, and affordability of Command, Control, Communications, Computer, Intelligence, and Cyber (C4+1I) information processing systems by investigating 1) Trusted, Secure, and Resilient Computational Systems; and 2) Trusted and Assured Software.

Space Development Agency (SDA) Releases BAA for a National Defense Space Architecture
Executive Summaries/White Papers/Full Proposals due January 20, 2021
The National Defense Space Architecture will be a multi-layered system that will provide space-based capabilities for communications, sensing, and data transportation, etc. in Low Earth Orbit. SDA seeks novel architecture concepts, systems, technologies, and capabilities that enable: 1) leap-ahead improvements for future capability layers; and 2) new capability layers to address other emerging warfighter needs. Solicitations for specific technologies will be released in the future.

NAWCAD Releases BAA Soliciting Basic and Applied Research Projects for Naval Aviation
White Papers due June 3, 2021
The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division (NAWCAD) released a broad agency announcement (BAA) seeking basic and applied science and engineering research projects that address the challenges and future technology needs of naval aviation at the Department of the Navy.  Naval aviation research areas include cyber, modeling and simulation, and human systems.

NIWC Pacific Releases Information Operations, Cyberspace Operations, and Information Technology Systems (C4ISR) Research BAA
White Papers due June 3, 2021
The Naval Information Warfare Center, Pacific (NIWC Pacific) seeks prototype projects for research in areas relating to C4ISR capabilities.  The solicitation specifically seeks “innovative approaches for defining and developing next generation integrable C4ISR” concepts that reflect the research interests of NIWC Pacific. Full proposals will be invited.

DARPA Defense Sciences Office (DSO) Releases Office-wide BAA for FY 2020
Submission window closes June 11, 2021
DARPA DSO released its FY 2020 BAA soliciting innovative basic and applied research proposals to foster innovation and scientific discovery that will address and solve current and future national security challenges.  The FY 2020 BAA seeks cutting-edge basic or applied research proposals in: 1) Frontiers in Math, Computation and Design; 2 Limits of Sensing and Sensors, 3) Complex Social Systems, and 4) Anticipating Surprise. Submission of executive summaries or abstracts is strongly encouraged.

Rolling Deadline:

Department of the Air Force Acquisition COVID-19 Task Force (DAF ACT) established a Commercial Solution Opening (CSO)
Solution briefs are accepted on a rolling basis through September 30, 2020
The DAF ACT seeks innovative solutions for commercial technologies that can “provide relief, resilience, recovery, and stability to the nation in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.” DAF ACT Areas of Interest include: Combating the Spread; Welfare of citizens; Readiness; Logistics; and Medical.

DARPA Biological Technologies Office (BTO) Releases 2020 BAA
Abstracts and proposals accepted on a Rolling Basis through April 22, 2021
DARPA BTO seeks innovative science research through their 2020 BAA on topics including: 1) “Designing novel materials, sensors, or processes that mimic or are inspired by biological systems. 2) Developing new technologies for advanced eukaryotic cellular engineering to support next-generation cellular therapeutic applications. 3) Developing new platform technologies for targeted, effective, spatiotemporally-controlled delivery of large and small molecules and biologies. 4) Developing tools to understand the underlying rules defining biomolecular and biomaterial structure/function properties in order to predict desired outcomes for novel materials. and 5) Leveraging biological systems to produce solutions for antimicrobial resistance.”

USMA Releases BAA on Research Topics Related to Army Technologies
White papers accepted on a Rolling basis through March 31, 2025
U.S. Military Academy (USMA) seeks research proposals targeting basic knowledge and understanding than can enable new and significant improvements to Army capabilities and technologies. The BAA topics of interest include: 1) Socio-Cultural; 2) Information Technology; 3) Ballistics, Weapons, and Protections; 4) Energy and Sustainability; 5) Materials, Measurements, and Facilities; 6) Unmanned Systems and Space; 7) Human Support Systems; and 8) Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Quantum Technologies.

In-Q-Tel interested in COVID-19 related technology innovations
In-Q-Tel works to accelerate the development of cutting edge "ready-soon" technologies. Specific technologies sought to combat COVID-19 include: point-of-care diagnostics; swabs for sample collection; serological diagnostics; and digital self-triage capabilities for telehealth. 

Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Releases BAA on Microsystems Technologies
Abstracts highly encouraged with a Rolling Deadline
DARPA released its Microsystems Technology Office (MTO) Office-wide BAA March 13 for research abstracts and proposals investigating revolutionary advances in microsystems and innovative strategies and solutions to address future microsystems-related challenges. To achieve these objectives, MTO highlights four thrust areas: 1) Embedded Microsystem Intelligence and Localized Processing; 2) Next Generation Front-End Component Technologies for Electromagnetic (EM) Spectrum Dominance; 3) Microsystem Integration for Increased Functional Density and Security; and 4) Disruptive Defense Microsystem Applications. Abstracts and full proposals are accepted anytime with final deadlines of 1/3/2022 for abstracts and 3/13/2022 for full proposals.


DOD Army MTEC likely to release further COVID-19 RFPs 
RFPs for other topics are anticipated including: Point of care diagnostics, prophylactics/therapeutics that can prevent/treat rapidly in a non-hospital environment, disease predictive modeling, patient monitoring, tracking and management system

IARPA Releases Robust Energy Sources for Intelligence Logistics in Extreme Novel and Challenging Environments (RESILIENCE) Draft BAA
This program seeks to “develop reliable sources of power that have high energy density, high power density, long calendar life, quiet operation, and robustness to extreme environmental conditions to meet the Intelligence Community’s needs. A webinar from their Proposer's Day is available here.

Defense-related Engagement Opportunities:

DARPA Announces 2020 Virtual Microsystems Technology Office (MTO) Symposium 
August 18-20, 2020
DARPA will host its inaugural MTO Symposium in conjunction with its third annual Electronics Resurgence Initiative (ERI) Summit on August 18 – 20, 2020.  The event will provide an overview of MTO’s programs and MTO program managers will discuss current research areas of interest, including Positioning, Navigation, and Timing (PNT), Command, Control, Communications, Computing, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (C4ISR), and other microsystems technology areas.  Early registration is encouraged.

OUSD(R&E) Seeks Input for Cyber Science and Technology (S&T) Roadmap
Responses due August 21, 2020
The Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering (OUSD(R&E)) issued an RFI for cyber activities and projections to help develop a Cyber Science and Technology (S&T) Roadmap for the DOD. The Cyber S&T roadmap will inform future cyber investments at DOD and outline the development of cyber capabilities ready for operational use within the next 25 years.  Responses are encouraged to share cyber “research and development projections, technical capabilities, and demonstrated experiences in cybersecurity and cyberspace operations.”

OUSD(R&E) Releases RFI for the National Defense Education Program
Responses due August 28, 2020
The Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering (OUSD(R&E)) released an RFI to inform future STEM efforts under the National Defense Education Program (NDEP).  The DOD states the RFI will inform future solicitations, and responses will help shape foci and priorities in NDEP’s future funding opportunities.  NDEP seeks to support projects that improve the nation’s education systems in order to develop a highly skilled workforce that can fulfill DOD’s mission, specifically around ne of three focus areas: STEM education, biotechnology education and workforce development, or enhanced civics education. 

Department of Navy Labs Soon to release Summer 2021 Applications
Applications due September 1, 2020
The Department of Navy sponsors summer faculty, internship, and research collaboration opportunities at Department of the Navy labs. 

DARPA MTO Releases RFI for Defense Applications of Programmable Logic
Responses due September 15, 2020
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Microsystems Technology Office (MTO) issued a request for information (RFI) seeking input on the use of radiofrequency (RF) computing applications involving large datasets to better define the capabilities of “high-bandwidth, high-throughput computing devices for the Department of Defense (DOD).”  DARPA may invite some responders to future workshop to discuss future defense applications of these technologies. 

Air Force Announces Advanced Manufacturing Olympics in October 2020
October 20-23, 2020
The U.S. Air Force Rapid Sustainment Office (RSO) will host a virtual week-long Advanced Manufacturing Olympics (AMO) in October 2020, to identify cost effective and reliable technological products that can be used by Air Force field units. The Air Force is seeking participation for technical challenges on advanced manufacturing technologies including 3D printing, artificial intelligence, automation and robotics, and supply chain management.  The AMO event will feature keynote speakers, break-out sessions, online training, a virtual expo, and an innovation playground to allow participants to highlight and demonstrate technology breakthroughs and advancements. Technical challenges include: 1) Technical Data Package Relay; 2) Box of Parts Challenge; 3) Material hurdles; and 4) Approval Sprints.