Molecular Information Storage (MIST)

 

Proposers Day Conference

The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) will host a Proposers’ Day conference for the MIST program on February 21, 2018 in anticipation of the release of a new solicitation. The conference will be held from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM EST in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. The purpose of the conference will be to provide information on MIST and the research problems the program aims to address, to address questions from potential proposers, and to provide a forum for potential proposers to present their capabilities for teaming opportunities.

This announcement serves as a pre-solicitation notice and is issued solely for information and planning purposes. The Proposers’ Day conference does not constitute a formal solicitation for proposals or proposal abstracts. Conference attendance is voluntary and is not required to propose to future solicitations (if any) associated with this program. IARPA will not provide reimbursement for any costs incurred to participate in this Proposers' Day.

Program Description and Goals

The scale and complexity of the world’s “big data” problems are increasing rapidly. Use cases that require storage and random access from exabytes of mostly unstructured data are now well-established in the private sector and are of increasing relevance to the public sector. However, meeting these requirements poses extraordinary logistical and financial challenges: today’s exabyte-scale data centers occupy large warehouses, consume megawatts of power, and cost billions of dollars to build, operate and maintain over their lifetimes. This resource intensive model does not offer a tractable path to scaling beyond the exabyte regime in the future.

The goal of the MIST program is to develop deployable storage technologies that can eventually scale into the exabyte regime and beyond with reduced physical footprint, power and cost requirements relative to conventional storage technologies. MIST seeks to accomplish this by using sequencecontrolled polymers as a data storage medium, and by building the necessary devices and information systems to interface with this medium. Technologies are sought to optimize the writing and reading of information to/from polymer media at scale, and to support random access of information from polymer media archives at scale.

The MIST program is anticipated to have a duration of four years composed of two phases, each of which will be 24 months in duration. The desired capabilities for both phases of the program are described by three Technical Areas (TAs):

TA1 (Storage): Develop a table-top device capable of writing information to molecular media with a target throughput and resource utilization budget. Multiple, diverse approaches are anticipated, which may utilize DNA, polypeptides, synthetic polymers, or other sequence-controlled polymer media.

TA2 (Retrieval): Develop a table-top device capable of randomly accessing information from molecular media with a target throughput and resource utilization budget. Multiple, diverse approaches are anticipated, which may utilize optical sequencing methods, nanopores, mass spectrometry, or other methods for sequencing polymers in a high-throughput manner.

TA3 (Operating System): Develop an operating system for use with storage and retrieval devices that coordinates addressing, data compression, encoding, error-correction and decoding of files from molecular media in a manner that supports efficient random access at scale. Multiple, diverse approaches are anticipated, which may draw on established methods from the storage industry, or develop new methods to accommodate constraints imposed by polymer media. The end result of the program will be technologies that jointly support end-to-end storage and retrieval at the terabyte scale, and which present a clear and commercially viable path to future deployment at the exabyte scale. Collaborative efforts and teaming among potential performers is highly encouraged. It is anticipated that teams will be multidisciplinary and may include expertise in chemistry, synthetic biology, molecular biology, biochemistry, bioinformatics, microfluidics, semiconductor engineering, computer science and information theory. IARPA anticipates that academic institutions and companies from around the world will participate in this program.

Registration Information

Attendees must register no later 5:00 PM EST on February 14, at https://eventmanagement.cvent.com/MISTPD. Directions to the conference facility and other materials will be available on that website. No walk-in registrations will be allowed.

Due to space limitations, attendance will be limited to 80 registrants and to no more than 2 representatives per organization. All attendees will be required to present a government-issued photo identification to enter the conference.

Additional Information

The morning session will include an overview of the program goals, technical challenges, and expected participation requirements. A description of how the solutions will be evaluated will be provided.

The afternoon will include a poster session to provide an opportunity for attendees to present their organizations' capabilities and to explore teaming arrangements. Attendees who wish to present organization capabilities for teaming opportunities may submit a request through the registration web site. Details on the poster format, and the procedure for submitting a request to present, will be provided after approval to register for the conference has been granted. These presentations are not intended to solicit feedback from the Government, and Government personnel will not be present during the presentations.

This Proposers' Day is intended for participants who are eligible to compete on the anticipated Broad Agency Announcement (BAA). Other Government Agencies, Federally Funded Research and Development Centers (FFRDCs), University Affiliated Research Centers (UARCs), or any other similar organizations that have a special relationship with the Government, that gives them access to privileged or proprietary information, or access to Government equipment or real property, will not be eligible to submit proposals to the anticipated BAA nor participate as team members under proposals submitted by eligible entities. While such entities are not prohibited from attending the Proposers' Day, due to space limitations, preference will be given first to those organizations that are eligible to compete. IARPA will not provide reimbursement for costs incurred to participate in this conference. By registering on the Federal Business Opportunities (FBO) website, conference participants may choose to add their contact information to the Interested Vendors List on FBO for the purpose of teaming, or exchange information during the conference. A separate attendees list will not be provided.

Questions concerning conference & registration can be sent to dni-iarpa-events@iarpa.gov. Questions regarding the program can be sent to dni-iarpa-baa-18-03@iarpa.gov.

Contracting Office Address

Office of the Director of National Intelligence
Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity
Washington, DC 20511
United States

Primary Point of Contact

David Markowitz
Program Manager
dni-iarpa-baa-18-03@iarpa.gov