recommended reading

Pentagon Casts Wider Net to Avert the Next Ebola Before It Arrives


The Pentagon is looking for organizations that have never done business with the government to weigh in with biological technology solutions to tomorrow's problems -- including Ebola and whatever infectious disease threat comes next.

In an effort to expand the pool of applicants for research funds, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency on Thursday announced a new two-page application it hopes smaller, nontraditional organizations and startups can use to initiate the funding process.

“Anyone, of course, can apply" using the EZ Broad Agency Announcement, or EZ BAA, Alicia Jackson, deputy director of DARPA’s Biological Technology Office, told reporters. “But it’s really focused on those people who’ve just never done business with the government before,” she said.

The office is interested in “the intersection of biology, engineering and computer science,” including neurotechnology, prosthetics and possibly mind-controlled prosthetics.

DARPA also aims to change the way the government deals with infectious disease from reactive to proactive.

“We’re not interested in solving just the Ebola crisis,” Jackson said, noting the current situation in West Africa follows a long line of recent outbreaks, including bird flu, SARS and MERS.

“We want to make sure we’re prepared for the next thing that comes down the pike,” she said. “We want to be in a position where we’re actually building a platform technology that can be applied not just to Ebola but to the next thing."

Think you or your company should apply?

"Do you have a way to completely transform the way we even think about going and attacking these problems – with a vaccine or a therapeutic or a diagnostic?" Jackson said. "That’s the kind of idea we’re looking for."

Jackson requested white papers no longer than two pages describing who is applying and the research idea. In-house DARPA managers will review the papers and ask some teams to proceed with a longer proposals for the EZ money, which is capped at $700,000 and is limited to unclassified research.

“This is meant to be a gateway to traditional funding,” Jackson said, noting the typical BAA application process can seem too cumbersome for small and nontraditional applicants. 

The call is open for a year and the amount the agency doles out will depend on the nature of the proposals. “We’re assuming if it goes well it will just be reissued every year,” Jackson said.

The White House earlier this week requested more than $6 billion to respond to Ebola both in the United States and elsewhere. That sum included $112 million for, among other things, DARPA’s efforts to develop treatments using antibodies of survivors of Ebola and other infectious diseases until a vaccine is available.

(Image via isak55/

Threatwatch Alert

Stolen laptop

Wireless Heart Monitor Maker to Pay $2.5M Settlement to HHS After Laptop Stolen

See threatwatch report


Close [ x ] More from Nextgov

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Modernizing IT for Mission Success

    Surveying Federal and Defense Leaders on Priorities and Challenges at the Tactical Edge

  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

  • Effective Ransomware Response

    This whitepaper provides an overview and understanding of ransomware and how to successfully combat it.

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.