Proposals to the Biological Control program (DARPA-BAA-16-17) are due April 29, 2016. The program seeks to build the foundations for multiscale control of biological systems.
Specifically, DARPA seeks to develop new capabilities for the control of biological systems across scales—from nanometers to centimeters, seconds to weeks, and biomolecules to populations of organisms—using embedded controllers made of biological parts to program system-level behavior. This program will apply and advance existing control theory to design and implement generalizable biological control strategies analogous to conventional control engineering, for example, for mechanical and electrical systems. The resulting advances in fundamental understanding and capabilities will create new opportunities for engineering biology.
The program will demonstrate tools to rationally design and implement multiscale, closed-loop control of biological systems, through the development of biological controllers, testbeds to evaluate control of system-level behavior, and theory and models to predict and design effective control strategies. The resulting capabilities will be inherently generalizable to a variety of biological systems. Successful teams will integrate and apply these capabilities to demonstrate a practical proof-of-principle biological solution to a proposer-defined application relevant to the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD).
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