DARPA DSO Office-wide BAA Proposers Day

Special Notice

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Defense Sciences Office (DSO) is sponsoring a two-day Proposers Day event to provide information to potential proposers on the objectives of an anticipated DSO Office-wide Broad Agency Announcement (BAA). The event will be held on Wednesday and Thursday, June 22–23, 2016 at the DARPA Conference Center (675 North Randolph Street, Arlington, VA 22203). The event will be webcast for those who would like to participate remotely. Advance registration is required for both the physical meeting and the webcast. Note, all times listed in this announcement and on the registration website are Eastern Time.

The goals of this event are to: (1) familiarize participants with DSO’s mission; (2) promote understanding of the anticipated Office-wide BAA; and (3) facilitate discussions with potential performers.

DARPA anticipates releasing the DSO Office-wide BAA in June 2016. If released, the BAA will be available on the Federal Business Opportunities website at https://www.fbo.gov and on http://www.grants.gov/. Following the event, presented materials may be posted to http://www.darpa.mil/work-with-us/opportunities.


The mission of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Defense Sciences Office (DSO) is to identify and pursue high-risk, high-payoff research initiatives across a broad spectrum of science and engineering disciplines and to transform these initiatives into important, radically new, game-changing technologies for U.S. national security. In support of this mission, the anticipated DSO Office-wide Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) will invite proposers to submit innovative basic or applied research concepts in one or more of the following technical areas:

Mathematics, Modeling, and Design: Development and implementation of advanced mathematics and modeling tools for applications of interest to U.S. national security.

Example topics include: Novel mathematical advances that accelerate discovery in physics, chemistry, and materials science; new approaches to electromagnetic modeling and simulation; major conceptual advances that lead to novel computation at scale; advanced mathematics and modeling tools needed to efficiently propagate multiple sources of uncertainty to make accurate predictions about stochastic, complex systems; representational and computational foundations for new design approaches and tools; and techniques to enhance the capability for humans to understand, construct and optimize complex engineering systems.

Physical Systems: Leading-edge experimental and/or theoretical research that advances our understanding and capabilities for U.S. national security in the physical sciences.

Example topics include: Exploring theoretical, experimental and/or technological boundaries of a topic/technical area to better anticipate technological surprise (e.g., How far can we push the performance of optical and imaging systems? Are there fundamental principles that govern operation and limitations of machine learning systems? How can emerging gene modification tools affect national security in 5, 10 or 20 years?); emerging areas in quantum science, ranging from quantum information to novel photonic devices; new computational substrates optimized for solving complex problems; and new methods for identifying, synthesizing and utilizing molecules and molecular systems to demonstrate unique function/capability.

Human-Machine Systems: Research to analyze, understand and optimize humanmachine/human-technology systems and system dynamics across a variety of application areas important for U.S. national security (e.g., materials, part and platform manufacturing, defense systems, human innovation systems and collaborative military systems).

Example topics include: New approaches, strategies and tools to accelerate and inspire scientific discovery and innovation; new techniques for knowledge representation, scientific automation, and data curation technologies; efficient and effective augmentation of human capabilities with machine interfaces and teams, including human-machine team-based approaches to accelerate discovery and application of technology solutions and addressing human-machine interactions/workloads in dynamic, uncertain environments.

Social Systems: New methods, tools and approaches to explore and better understand human social systems and dynamics in a national security context.

Example topics: Methods to design and conduct social science research at varying scales (i.e., small group through city scale); new tools and methods for harnessing virtual or alternate reality and massively distributed platforms for social science; studies to determine fundamental measures and causal mechanisms that explain and predict the emergence of collective identity; understanding resilience in social networks and structures, changes in cultural norms or beliefs, emergence of cooperation/competitions and social influences on preferences and cognition; new tools for identifying, anticipating and responding to changes in states of social systems.

Proposed research should investigate innovative approaches that enable revolutionary advances. DSO is explicitly not interested in approaches or technologies that primarily result in evolutionary improvements to the existing state of practice. Submissions to the anticipated BAA may be in the form of an executive summary, abstract, or full proposal. Prior to submitting an abstract or full proposal, proposers are strongly encouraged to first submit an executive summary as a quick method of ascertaining whether the proposed concept is (1) applicable to the DSO mission and (2) currently of interest to DSO.


 Wednesday, June 22 and Thursday, June 23, 2016
(same schedule each day)
Breakout Sessions 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM
Sidebar Discussions 9:15 AM – 5:25 PM
7:30 AM–8:30 AM
Registration & Coffee
8:30 AM–9:00 AM
Welcome & Orientation
9:00 AM–9:15 AM
9:15 AM–5:00 PM
DSO Displays & Networking
9:15 AM–5:25 PM
Sidebar Discussions
9:15 AM–10:15 AM
Breakout 1: Human-Machine Cooperation and Collaboration
Breakout 2: DARPA 101: Engaging with DARPA and DSO
10:15 AM–10:30 AM
10:30 AM–11:30 AM
Breakout 3: Opportunities in Quantum Science
Breakout 4: DARPA 102: Universities working with DARPA
11:30 AM–1:30 PM
Lunch (provided)
11:45 AM–12:45 PM
Breakout 5: Frontiers of Social Science
Breakout 6: Doing Business with DARPA
1:30 PM–2:30 PM
Breakout 7: Learning, Modeling, and Modulating Complex Dynamic Systems
Breakout 8: How DARPA Develops Programs
2:30 PM–2:45 PM
2:45 PM–3:45 PM
Breakout 9: Frontiers in Optics
Breakout 10: Defining the Frontier for DARPA’s DARPA: Understanding and Accelerating Technological Revolution
3:45 PM–4:00 PM
4:00 PM–5:00 PM
Breakout 11: What Are We Missing?
Breakout 12: Complexity in Natural Systems


The DSO Proposers Day event will be held at the DARPA Conference Center (675 North Randolph Street, Arlington, VA 22203) on Wednesday, June 22, 2016 and Thursday, June 23, 2016 from 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM. Check‐in begins at 7:30 AM on Wednesday, June 22. Note, all times listed in this announcement and on the registration website are Eastern Time. There is no fee for the Proposers Day.

Registration opens: Monday, May 23 at 12:00 PM.
Registration closes: On the date/time noted or when capacity is reached, whichever comes first.

  • Physical attendance: Friday, June 3, 2016 at 5:00 PM
  • Webcast attendance: Monday, June 13, 2016 at 5:00 PM

Advance registration is required for attending the Proposers Day via the physical meeting and for viewing the webcast. Registration is mandatory for every individual intending to view the webcast either alone or as part of a group. Participants must register to attend the Proposers Day through the registration website: www.sa-meetings.com/2016DSOProposersDay. There will be no on‐site registration.

Interested parties are encouraged to coordinate attendance internally within their organizations prior to registration. Physical attendance is limited to no more than two representatives per division/department, with a maximum of five attendees from any one organization.

  • Due to conference facility space limitations, physical attendance will be limited to the first 176 registrants.
  • Remote participation via webcast is limited to 500 participants.

Registrants in excess of the maximum capacity limitations (176 for physical attendance and 500 for the webcast) will be added to the waitlist. Individuals who are unable to register for in-person attendance because the deadline has occurred or capacity has been reached will have the option of choosing to be added to the waitlist OR registering for attendance via webcast. If slots remain open after registration closes or become available due to cancellations, the slots will be filled on a first come, first served basis from the waitlist. Registrants will receive notification regarding acceptance on or before Wednesday, June 8, 2016.


Multiple breakout sessions conducted by DARPA/DSO personnel will be offered both days during the DSO Proposers Day event. The registration website will ask attendees to select those breakout sessions in which they wish to participate. Every effort will be made to accommodate as many sessions of interest as possible.


Special Notice DARPA-SN-16-22 announced opportunities for attendees at the DSO Proposers Day event to potentially have sidebar meetings with DSO Program Managers. This Special Notice has closed, and recipients of sidebar meetings have been notified; no additional sidebars will be scheduled during the DSO Proposers Day event.


Attendance via the webcast or the physical meeting is open to individuals who are U.S. Citizens, U.S. Permanent Residents, and Foreign Nationals. Upon entry to the physical meeting, all attendees will be required to present valid, Government-issued photo identification.

All registrants who are not U.S. Citizens must complete and submit a DARPA Form 60 (U.S. Permanent Resident and Foreign National Visit Request) no later than Wednesday, June 15, 2016 at 5:00 PM. This form and submission instructions are provided on the registration website and in the registration confirmation email.



Potential proposers may register to attend the DSO Proposers Day event. The event is closed to the general public and media. Media inquiries may be directed to Outreach@darpa.mil. Attendance at the DSO Proposers Day event or viewing the webcast is voluntary and is not required to propose to the anticipated Office-wide BAA. Interested parties to this notice are cautioned that nothing herein obligates the Government to issue a solicitation. The Proposers Day does not constitute a formal solicitation for proposals or abstracts. This announcement is issued solely for information and program planning purposes and is not a Request for Information (RFI). Since this is not an RFI, no submissions against this notice will be accepted by the Government. No classified, ITAR controlled, or proprietary information shall be included in submitted materials or shall be presented or discussed at the Proposers Day. DARPA will not provide reimbursement for costs incurred to participate in this Proposers Day. Recording the Proposers Day is not permitted.