U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Government Website

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Safely connect using HTTPS

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock () or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.


  1. Home
  2. About Us
  3. Site Links
  4. Archived
  5. News Archive
  6. S&T Launches Hidden Signals Challenge to Uncover Emerging Biothreats

Archived Content

In an effort to keep DHS.gov current, the archive contains outdated information that may not reflect current policy or programs.

S&T Launches Hidden Signals Challenge to Uncover Emerging Biothreats

Release Date: November 20, 2017

As DHS’s research and development arm, the Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) looks to envision the future of our nation’s security, while supporting current operational needs. With our Biosurveillance Systems program, we work to provide local officials with new ways to identify potential biothreats, in order to improve response times and minimize impact to public safety.

William N. Bryan Sinior Official Performing the Duties of the Under Secretary for Science and Technology
Under Secretary (Acting) for
Science and Technology
William Bryan

As part of this effort, we recently launched the Hidden Signals Challenge, a prize competition calling upon data innovators to develop concepts for novel uses of existing data that will identify signals and achieve timelier alerts for biothreats in our cities and communities.

Biothreats occur when harmful pathogens are either naturally or deliberately released, posing a risk to national security and public health. With this prize competition we aim to develop real-time insights that can improve public safety responses to emerging biothreats by exploring connections between multiple publicly-accessible and low-cost data sources. We intend for this work to be the first step in the design of a local and/or national-level system that could enable city-level operators to make critical and proactive decisions based on the most relevant and actionable insights.

The challenge focuses on large metropolitan areas such as New York, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., Chicago, Boston, and Atlanta as the basis for a proof of concept, but is open to solutions that address all geographic locations. Cities interested in providing data resources, partnership or mentorship to the Challenge should contact hello@hiddensignalschallenge.com. On November 1, S&T conducted a webinar providing additional details about the Hidden Signals prize challenge; watch for more details.

Those interested in participating in the Challenge should submit their concept by 4:59 PM EST, Monday, December 4, 2017. The judges will evaluate the submissions and select up to five Finalists to advance to Stage 2. Stage 1 Finalists will receive $20,000 in seed money to further develop concepts into detailed system designs in Stage 2.

Look for updates about the Challenge on S&T’s Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn pages! Join the conversation using #HiddenSignals.

Last Updated: 07/14/2022
Was this page helpful?
This page was not helpful because the content