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  • This Fall, See Yourself as a DARPA Imagery Researcher

    July 10, 2012

    Teams wanted for eight weeks of radical innovation in visual and geospatial data analysis 

    There’s a lot to be said for the road that is taken—it’s safe, it’s well lit, and you probably know where it leads. Rarely does an opportunity present itself to leave the road entirely and venture off in search of new vistas. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) seeks trailblazers to explore the unknown in the areas of visual and geospatial data analysis. Researchers will participate in a short-fuse, crucible-style environment to invent new approaches to the identification of people, places, things and activities from still or moving defense and open-source imagery.

    “A lot can happen when you put seriously intelligent, seriously motivated people in a room with a mission and a deadline,” said Michael Geertsen, DARPA program manager and the force behind the Innovation House Study. “We are inviting a new generation of innovators to try out ideas in an environment that encourages diverse solutions and far-out thinking. If this model proves to be as successful as we believe it could be, it represents a new means for participating in Government-sponsored research projects.”

    DARPA’s Innovation House Study, conducted with George Mason University in Arlington, Va., will provide a focused residential research environment for as many as eight teams. Interested team leaders are encouraged to submit proposals by July 31, 2012, detailing their plan to design, execute and demonstrate a radical, novel research approach to innovation in the area of extracting meaningful content from large volumes of varied visual and geospatial media. Selected teams will receive up to $50,000 in funding.

    The Innovation House concept revolves around a collaborative, rather than competitive, environment. The study will run for eight weeks over two four week sessions from Sept. 17, 2012 to Nov. 9, 2012. In Phase I, teams are expected to produce an initial design and demonstrate in software the crucial capabilities that validate their approach. In Phase II, teams are expected to complete and demonstrate a functional software configuration as a proof of concept. Teams demonstrating sufficient progress in Phase I will receive Phase II funding.

    DARPA will provide access to unclassified data sets and facilitate interaction with mentors from U.S. Government and academia. These interactions will provide teams with context for how their proposed technology could be applied in the realworld.

    Details on the proposal process and program can be found at: http://c4i.gmu.edu/InnovationHouse/.  

    Associated images posted on www.darpa.mil may be reused according to the terms of the DARPA User Agreement, available here: http://go.usa.gov/nYr.

    Tweet: @darpa

    Hashtag: #innovation

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