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Data-Driven Technology Discovery Methodologies



TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Information Systems

OBJECTIVE: Develop sustainable and scalable data-driven methodologies to discover emerging or disruptive technologies before they have an innovative impact on WMD and the CWMD mission space. Employing discovery methodologies will enable continuous horizon scanning, and drive technology forecast analysis and reporting to assist the CWMD community of interest (CoI) in avoiding technological surprise.

DESCRIPTION: DTRA’s R&D Directorate (J9) is seeking repeatable and scalable data-driven methodologies that will support a distributed technology forecasting framework for the discovery of emerging or disruptive technologies that may impact an adversary's WMD capabilities or the CWMD mission space in the two- to ten-year timeframe.

Current ad-hoc discovery efforts commonly leverage subject matter expertise to identify technologies of interest. These approaches are dependent on the span of knowledge of the individuals involved and limit the breadth of the discovery effort.

Data-driven approaches of interest to DTRA are anticipated to use tools for data collection, data correlation and trend identification to identify and highlight novel, emerging, and/or disruptive technologies. Initial emphasis will be placed on focused data-driven discovery – intended to assess a known technology or technology area – and aim at investigating the potential application of the technology within the WMD mission space. DTRA then intends to broaden the data-driven discovery process, using more of an “unknown / wide-lensed” aperature-based approach to discovery so that emerging technologies without obvious impact on the CWMD mission space might also be captured.

PHASE I: Develop a methodology for focused, data-driven discovery of emerging or disruptive technologies and execute a proof of concept deployment of the capability.


Effectiveness will be based on demonstration of the viability of the proposed methodology and the generation of initial outputs permitting further research or analysis on a known technology or technology area. As the challenges within the CWMD mission space range from nuclear, chemical and biological threats, Phase I vendors are encouraged to concentrate on discovery of emerging technologies relevant to future biological weapons threats.

PHASE II: This phase will consist of two components.

First, the vendor will fully deploy the Phase I developed methodology to discover technologies across the entire WMD spectrum and generate insights of interest to drive further analysis leading to a Technology Forecast to be produced by DTRA personnel.

Second, the vendor will expand the Phase I focused discovery to a broad, data-driven discovery methodology. Leveraging lessons learned from Phase I, the vendor is expected to prove the feasibility of evolving the capability to allow wide-aperture discovery of unknown emerging or disruptive technologies that may impact the CWMD mission space.

PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: The contractor will deploy the complete methodology (with focused and broad functionalities) to provide scalable and sustainable horizon scanning services to DTRA J9. The final product will have potential commercial applications beyond DTRA, including other organizations within the CWMD CoI and other government agencies engaged in CWMD efforts.

KEYWORDS: Data, Analytics, Technology Forecast, Horizon Scanning, Emerging Technologies, Threat


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