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IARPA Announces New Research Program

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Aug. 24, 2011

Program will design novel methods for anticipating significant societal events

Washington, D.C. – The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA), within the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), announced today a new research program to develop and test novel methods to assist intelligence analysts in anticipating significant societal events.  The Open Source Indicators Program (OSI) will focus on events that include political and humanitarian crises, mass violence, mass migrations, disease outbreaks, economic instability, resource shortages, and responses to natural disasters. 

Through a Broad Agency Announcement, IARPA is soliciting innovative research proposals for the OSI program from academia and industry. The announcement, along with additional information about the program, can be found at http://www.iarpa.gov/solicitations_osi.html.

Research shows that many significant societal events are preceded by population-level changes in communication, consumption and movement. Some of these changes may be indirectly observable from diverse, publicly available data, but few methods have been developed for anticipating or detecting unexpected events by fusing such data.  IARPA’s OSI program will use innovative statistical methods that combine publicly available data in order to alert analysts to changes in population behavior.  As such, the program will not include information that identifies, geolocates, or tracks individuals.

“OSI’s methods, if proven successful, could provide early warnings of emerging events around the world,” said Jason Matheny, OSI program manager at IARPA. 

IARPA invests in high-risk, high-payoff programs that have the potential to provide our nation with an overwhelming intelligence advantage over our future adversaries.  For media inquiries, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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