CDE themed competition: information processing and sensemaking

Further information on this Centre for Defence Enterprise (CDE) competition for research funding.


Information processing and sensemaking competition document

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This competition was briefed at our Innovation Network event on Thursday 22 May 2014. View the presentation slides.

Total funding available for this competition is £600,000.

This competition closes on Thursday 26 June 2014 at 5pm.


This CDE themed competition is looking for solutions to the challenges arising from the future intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance environment. Traditional, well-modelled, structured information sources are supported by a growing amount of unstructured, less well-defined sources. The addition of non-traditional data sources, which have different error variables and scales, creates the following challenges in sensemaking:

  • data association and correlation of both unstructured and structured data
  • uncertainty propagation and management across multiple data representations
  • automated hypothesis generation
  • automated learning to understand complex relationships
  • autonomous model generation
  • techniques that cope with large-scale data

Current government information processing and sensemaking is a human-intensive process with a high cognitive burden. This process would not easily scale with increased data volume.

Through this CDE themed competition, we are seeking projects to demonstrate solutions as prototype software. They must be designed, from the outset, to cope with large-scale data and must run at near-operational speeds.

Dstl (the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory) owns or has access to a number of computer environments that process operationally relevant data. We aim to use the solutions developed through this competition on these environments to allow rapid pull-through into operational use. Deliverables must include executable source code, ideally as components in open-source frameworks, eg Ozone Widget Framework, so they can rapidly be evaluated.

Dstl will provide successful bidders with access to a large-scale data set for testing solutions. Additionally, we will provide a licence to an integrated analytical toolkit for network and geospatial analysis.

We are seeking projects of technology readiness level (TRL) 3-5. A description of TRLs is available in the Acquisition Operating Framework. Projects can be up to 12 months duration. Solutions will be expected to be developed to a maturity that will allow them to take part in a live information processing experiment in September 2015.

Proposals must be submitted using the CDE portal by 5pm on Thursday 26 June 2014.

Technical team email:

Centre for Defence Enterprise

Building R103
Fermi Avenue

Harwell Oxford
OX11 0QX

Please email for the quickest response.

Published 30 June 2014