Preparing a submission? See the Informational Webinar

On November 1st, data innovators joined us for the Hidden Signals Challenge Informational Webinar to hear about the Challenge, learn about Stage 1 & Stage 2, and ask questions. The webinar slides are now available as is a video archive:

During the webinar, Dr. Rosanna Robertson, the program lead from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate, and Dr. Aaron Firoved, Director of the National Biosurveillance Integration Center at DHS, shared the DHS’ vision for the role of nontraditional data in biothreat detection and early warnings for public safety, and provided an in-depth overview of the Challenge.

First, Dr. Firoved explained why the Challenge is important today:

“This [a biothreat] is a problem that many experts have dedicated their careers to, and there are several tools in place today that address biosurveillance…These tools help to further our understanding of biothreat detection, but they also rely largely on health data and environmental surveillance data, which presents several challenges, including timeliness, accessibility, and limited scope. Now is the time to reconsider how we can take advantage of the proliferation of new technologies and data sources.”

Later, Dr. Robertson discussed what DHS hopes to accomplish with the Challenge:

“There are many ways to approach R&D for this sort of problem space. We have chosen to use a Challenge mechanism in order to access new and diverse thinking, maximize available data, and close the gap between concept development and saving lives faster.”

Attendees asked questions during the webinar Q&A, ranging from data accessibility to team eligibility requirements. We have compiled the responses in a Frequently Asked Questions document.

As a reminder, submissions are due in just a few weeks. Submit a concept by 4:59 PM ET, Monday, December 4, 2017. If you have any further questions, please contact us at

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