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AQUAINT R&D Program Announcement


The following is an informational announcement that we believe may be 
of interest to you.  

The National Business Center, Department of Interior (NBC-DOI) at Ft.
Huachuca, AZ, has recently released a Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) 
and Proposer Information Pamphlet (PIP) on behalf of the Advanced 
Research and Development Activity (ARDA) for Phase 2 of its Advanced 
Question Answering for Intelligence (AQUAINT) R&D Program.  Both of 
these documents, plus other related, supplemental information are 
linked to the following NBC-DOI web pages:


ARDA's AQUAINT Program is seeking innovative, creative, high-risk, high-
payoff research to achieve significant advancements in technologies and
methods for advanced question answering against large heterogeneous 
collections of structured and unstructured information of multiple 
media and genre types (including structured and unstructured text, 
speech, document images, other multi- media) in English and multiple 
foreign languages, as well as video, images, geospatial, and abstract 

The ultimate goal of the AQUAINT Program is not to develop question and 
answer capabilities for only single, isolated, factually based questions
whose answers can be found as a single string or within a relatively 
short window of text (e.g. a 50 or 250 byte window) in a single 
document.  Rather this R&D program intends to address a scenario in 
which multiple, inter-related questions are asked in a particular topic 
area by a skilled, professional information analyst who is attempting 
to respond to larger, more complex information needs or requirements. 
While some capabilities exist in these areas today, they are extremely
limited and inadequate to meet the Government's broader requirements 
for question and answering.  In addition, ARDA has a high interest 
in demonstrating the improved effectiveness achieved by combining 
the capabilities emerging from the R&D sponsored under the AQUAINT 
Program in an integrated, "plug-and-play" system environment.

Phase 1 of the AQUAINT Program sponsored 25 separate research projects.
None of these projects will automatically carry-over to Phase 2. 
As such all must re-propose.  All projects selected for funding 
under Phase 2 will come from the pool of proposals that are submitted 
to NBC, DOI in response to this AQUAINT Phase 2 BAA. In particular, 
the AQUAINT Program is strongly encouraging qualified, non-Phase 1
participants to seriously consider submitting their very best 
research ideas as a Phase 2 proposal.

All questions concerning this BAA must be sent to NBC-DOI.  The 
specifics for doing this are found on page 3 of the PIP.

Thank you for your consideration.  If you do not wish to receive 
future notices of this nature from ARDA, please send a reply to 
the undersigned at jprange at nsa dot gov dot 

John P.
Dr. John D. Prange
Program Director for Information Exploitation R&D Thrust 
Advanced Research & Development Activity (ARDA)
Room 12A69 NBP1 Building
STE 6644
Fort George G. Meade, MD 20755-6644
jprange at nsa dot gov
301-688-7092 (Voice)
800-276-3747 (Voice)
301-688-2200 ID: 6259 (Pager - Wash/Baltimore area only)
301-943-0719 (Cell Phone)
301-688-7410 (Fax)