IARPA in the News


WHAT: The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity's Proposers' Day Conference for cyber defense.

WHY: IARPA said it wants to use its Jan. 21 Proposers' Day for the Cyber-attack Automated Unconventional Sensor Environment (CAUSE) Program to explore options beyond the typical "postmortem analysis" approaches to cyber defense that focus on the attack vectors used by adversaries.


Submission deadlines are Feb. 4, 2015 (single microphone) and Feb. 19, 2015 (multiple microphone). The ASpIRE challenge asks solvers to develop innovative speech recognition systems that can be trained on conversational telephone speech, and yet work well on far-field microphone data from noisy, reverberant rooms. Participants will have the opportunity to evaluate their techniques on a common set of challenging data that includes significant room noise and reverberation. Whereas the Babel program seeks to develop agile and robust technology that can be rapidly applied to any human language, this Challenge focuses on English language speech recognition.


The federal government is seeking to develop "unconventional" methods that can help cybersecurity professionals better predict attacks and deploy countermeasures.

The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity will host a one-day conference Jan. 21 to provide information about an upcoming solicitation to develop the Cyber-attack Automated Unconventional Sensor Environment, or CAUSE, program. The agency did not indicate when it would issue the solicitation.

Executive Gov

The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity will hold a proposers’ day next month to discuss an upcoming industry competition for work to develop cyber risk prediction and detection methods.

IARPA said it will introduce the Cyber-attack Automated Unconventional Sensor Environment Program to interested vendors on Jan. 21 in Washington.


The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity is kicking off a new program aimed at halting or mitigating cyberattacks before they happen, according to solicitation documents posted yesterday. The Cyberattack Automated Unconventional Sensor Environment program aims to sift through data such as black market sales and threat actor behavior to forecast who’s planning a cyberattack and when. IARPA will host a proposer’s day conference to outline the program Jan. 21, followed by a formal solicitation for proposals later in the year, according to yesterday’s notice.

From the notice: “Anticipated innovations include: methods to manage and extract huge amounts of streaming and batch data, the application and introduction of new and existing features from other disciplines to the cyber domain, and the development of models to generate probabilistic warnings for future cyber events.” Details: http://1.usa.gov/13w77qs

Defense Systems

The Defense Department is continuing its year-long push to bulk up its supercomputing muscle with two recently awarded contracts under the High Performance Computing Modernization Program....

The drive for supercomputing advances is continuing in other realms as well. Earlier this month, the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity awarded contracts to kick off a five-year program to develop cryogenic computing that could create a superconducting computer that can operate at exascale capacity, or about 40 times faster than today’s fastest supercomputers, while requiring less power.


Inside a squat beige building on the fringes of its Atlanta campus, college students play computer games with electrodes attached to their heads as researcher Eric Schumacher, PhD, looks on. He’s part of a $12.7 million trial called Strengthening Human Adaptive Reasoning and Problem Solving (SHARP) that’s being done in collaboration with the University of New Mexico and Charles River Analytics, the Boston-based company that developed the games.

The researchers involved in the study are pursuing one of the holy grails of brain training. They hope to show that people don’t just get better at playing the video games, but that the games -- if played with a low-voltage zap of electricity to the brain -- can actually make people better thinkers.

In other words, they want to know if the approach can boost the brain’s fluid intelligence.