Polyplexus Pilot 3

Funding Agency:
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency

The Defense Sciences Office (DSO) at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is seeking participants for a pilot program designed to utilize modern connectivity to rapidly develop promising basic research pathways leading to basic research proposals. DSO’s intent is to fund research proposals resulting from this pilot program. As with other recent DARPA/DSO opportunity announcements, the goal of this program is to deliver research proposals that seek to investigate innovative approaches to enable revolutionary advances in science, devices, or systems. In particular, this announcement is intended to support the DSO mission to anticipate scientific surprise.

Specifically excluded is research that primarily results in evolutionary improvements to the existing state of practice.

Polyplexus is a forum for the scientific community to interact with sponsors (e.g., DARPA program managers) in order to develop solicitations in any technical domain that lead to, for example, the opportunity to propose research projects. The core premise of the Gamification for the Search for Strategic Surprise (GS3) program is that it is possible to use freedom of expression combined with modern communication technology and modalities to further accelerate the pace of research and development. The Polyplexus online platform is the core capability under development in the GS3 program. Specifically the Polyplexus platform is intended as a tool for sponsors to initially express a general scientific area of interest, and then engage with the technical research and development community through a constructive online conversation. The purpose of the structured conversation is to enable the research sponsor to guide the exploration, vetting, and refinement of a technical area of interest. The result of the conversation is then used for constructive activities such as soliciting performers to execute funded research on that topic. This BAA, Polyplexus Pilot 3, is a continuation of the Polyplexus platform pilot test.

As an inducement to participate on a platform that is not fully mature, DARPA is making research funding available (up to approximately 20 awards at an estimated $100,000 each) for ideas and concepts of scientific merit that may emerge from the online conversation. DARPA anticipates funding awards at any time throughout the period of this opportunity (See Part I: Overview Information for due dates).

The following bullets provide additional information on the Polyplexus platform, but the best way to understand the Polyplexus platform is to sign up on the www.polyplexus.com website and explore the capabilities.

  • Incubators
  • Evidence Collection 
  • Conjecture Generation
  • Reviews
  • Portfolio Development

The technical scope of this BAA is limited to fundamental research.

BAA Close Date: July 2, 2020

Agency Website

Areas of Interest

Polyplexus Pilot Topic Opportunity Notice for Advanced Corrosion Control (Topic 17)

Abstracts Requested by: December 10, 2019

Full Proposals Requested by: January 28, 2020

The purpose of this Polyplexus Pilot Topic Opportunity Notice is to provide public notification of a research and development funding opportunity on the Polyplexus online platform. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Defense Sciences Office (DSO) invites participation in Polyplexus, which is an online, professional, technical conversation between the research community and DARPA Program Managers that will lead to the opportunity to submit abstracts and full proposals for a research and development project. The shared task of this group is to rigorously explore the trends and possible applications of emerging science and technology in a specific technical area defined by a participating Program Manager. The online discussion culminates in an opportunity to submit an abstract and subsequently a proposal describing a proposed research project. Abstracts and proposals submitted in response to the technical area description that emerges from the online interactions will be evaluated against the evaluation criteria in HR001119S0075. The process, evaluation criteria, abstract submission instructions, and proposal submission instructions are described in the BAA HR001119S0075, which is the companion document to this Polyplexus Pilot Topic Opportunity Notice.

The initial technical area under consideration in this announcement is the fundamental understanding of corrosion processes. The topic will be refined as the incubator conversation evolves. The updated topic can be found in the “Advanced Corrosion Control (17)” incubator located on the polyplexus.com website. At the end of the online conversation the topic will be finalized. Participants are encouraged to submit Evidence and Conjecture microPublications to influence the online conversation with the Program Manager, who can modify the research topic description in response to the evolving conversation response until the topic is finalized. Additionally, this topic may feature a live question and answer session with the Program Manager on polyplexus.com. Details regarding the live question and answer session will be available on polyplexus.com.



Amount Description

Approximately 10 awards at the $100,000 level are anticipated throughout the duration of this Broad Agency Announcement (BAA); however, the level of funding for individual awards made under this solicitation has not been predetermined and will depend on the scope and quality of the proposals received, as well as the availability of funds. See Section II for further information.

Funding Type





Engineering and Physical Sciences
Social Sciences

External Deadline

July 2, 2020