solar cells in village

Interagency teams take up diplomacy challenge

While individual agencies have frequently launched challenges and hackathons to court top tech talent from the private sector to bridge technology gaps, the D3 Pitch Challenge asked interagency teams to design innovative technology solutions to strengthen national security, enhance diplomacy and improve the lives of people around the globe.

Of 500 submissions, six interagency teams from the Department of State, Department of Defense and the U.S. Agency for International Development were selected as finalists and presented their ideas at the March 2 Innovation Summit. The projects were:

3-D Building Printing for the Advancement of GeoPolitical Objectives, which proposes to construct infrastructure and facilities in post-disaster areas more efficiently using 3-D printing technologies.  The proposal was recognized by judges with the “Greatest Impact” certificate.

Operation Crow: Saving Lives at the Last Mile, in which unmanned aerial vehicles would be used to improve delivery of healthcare supplies in conflict zones. 

Active Shooter Protection System, in which a “shooter-activated alarm” system would strengthen emergency response capabilities in consulates, embassies or other U.S. facilities overseas.

Unleashing the Informal Economy: Lighting the Match on Dark Data, a project that would use  geotagging and data analytics to strengthening open government partnerships by helping public institutions meet good governance commitments.

Sustainable Microgrids: Building Stability and Capacity in Regions of U.S. Strategic Interest, which would develop infrastructure models to connect and secure energy transfers between solar, wind and water sources in developing countries.  

Space Solar – Clean, Constant and Global, a project that proposes to use space-based solar power technologies for renewable energy.  Judges recognized the proposal with the “Collaboration” certificate, the “Presentation” certificate and the “Innovation” certificate along with the “D3 People’s Choice Award.”

About the Author

Mark Pomerleau is a former editorial fellow with GCN and Defense Systems.

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