RAIN Finalist in Dept of Homeland Security BioThreat

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News Release: DHS S&T Announces Five Finalists in $300K Biothreat Prize Competition

February 14, 2018

Washington, DC – Five finalists were announced today for Stage 1 of the $300,000 Hidden Signals Challenge. Issued by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T), in collaboration with the Office of Health Affairs National Biosurveillance Integration Center (NBIC), the challenge calls for the design of an early warning system that uses existing data to uncover emerging biothreats. The announcement was made at the American Society for Microbiology’s 2018 ASM Biothreats meeting.

“We were impressed with the diversity of concepts submitted to the Challenge,” said William N. Bryan, DHS Senior Official Performing the Duties of Under Secretary for Science and Technology. “The five finalists explore new ways we can uncover emerging biothreats and we are confident they’ll inform a system that could enable city-level operators to make critical decisions.”

The five finalists are:

  • Readiness Acceleration & Innovation Network (RAIN), Tacoma, WA for Commuter Pattern Analysis for Early Biothreat Detection, a system that cross-references de-identified traffic information with existing municipal health data and internet keyword searches. The tool will be developed to recognize commuter absenteeism to flag a possible disease outbreak.

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