Biological Robustness in Complex Settings (BRICS) Part 2

Funding Agency:
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency


This publication constitutes a Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) as contemplated in Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) 6.102(d)(2) and 35.016 and 2 CFR § 200.203. Any resultant award negotiations will follow all pertinent law and regulation, and any negotiations and/or awards for procurement contracts will use procedures under FAR 15.4, Contract Pricing, as specified in the BAA. 

DARPA seeks innovative approaches to the development of engineered Forensic Microbial Systems (FMS) that may be deployed in complex environments to create unique microbial signatures for environmental forensics operations. The specific task areas will focus on engineering robust microbial communities that can thrive in a specific environment, the design and detection of molecular signatures to identify that community when placed in complex environments, and mechanisms that will enable the potential safe deployment of the engineered system in open environments. The resulting technology is intended to complement methods being developed for existing microbiome forensics techniques by improving the speed and portability of detection and analysis, and enabling the addition of more advanced functions, such as chemical sensing and logic functions. 

The goal of BRICS Part 2 is to develop a synthetic microbiome that contains a unique signature that is easily detected, can be maintained over time in a complex environment, and may be transferred to an object of interest within that environment. Proposals for this final portion of BRICS will delineate practical approaches to the challenges described in this BAA, with limited development of new tools, reagents, or methods. Prior participation in BRICS Part 1 is not a prerequisite for proposing to Part 2, and approaches that leverage technologies developed outside of the BRICS program will be considered. 

Proposal Due Date and Time – June 6, 2017




Engineering and Physical Sciences
Environmental & Life Sciences
Medical - Basic Science

External Deadline

June 6, 2017