Safe Documents (SafeDocs)

Funding Agency:
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency

DARPA is soliciting innovative research proposals in the area of secure processing of untrusted electronic data. Proposed research should investigate innovative approaches that radically improve software's ability to recognize and safely reject invalid and maliciously crafted input data, while preserving essential functionality of legacy electronic data formats. Proposals should build on an existing base of knowledge of electronic document, message, and streaming formats and the nature of security vulnerabilities associated with these formats.

The Safe Documents (SafeDocs) program will develop novel verified programming methodologies for building high assurance parsers for extant electronic data formats, and novel methodologies for comprehending, simplifying, and reducing these formats to their safe, unambiguous, verification-friendly subsets (“safe sub-setting”).


o Abstract Due Date: September 7, 2018

o Proposal Due Date: October 19, 2018

Agency Website

Areas of Interest

The SafeDocs program consists of four Technical Areas (TAs):

  • TA1: Extant Syntax Recovery, Simplification, and Safe Sub-setting.
  • TA2: Constructing Secure Parsers
  • TA3: Testing and Evaluation
  • TA4: Instantiation

Eligibility Requirements

DARPA welcomes engagement from all responsible sources capable of satisfying the Government's needs, including academia (colleges and universities); businesses (large, small, small disadvantaged, etc.); other organizations (including non-profit); entities (foreign, domestic, and government); FFRDCs; minority institutions; and others. 

Each abstract and proposal submitted against this solicitation shall address only one TA. Organizations may submit multiple abstract/proposals to any one TA, or they may propose to multiple TAs. A proposer submitting a proposal to TA1 and another to TA2 may be selected to perform on both TAs. However, TA3 and TA4 performers cannot perform on any other TA. 

Amount Description

Multiple awards are anticipated. The level of funding for individual awards made under this solicitation has not been predetermined and will depend on the quality of the proposals received and the availability of funds. Awards will be made to proposers whose proposals are determined to be the most advantageous and provide the best value to the Government, all factors considered, including the potential contributions of the proposed work, overall funding strategy, and availability of funding. See Section V for further information.

Funding Type





Engineering and Physical Sciences

External Deadline

October 19, 2018