“There are currently around 140 million known molecules, but the space of potential molecules is vastly larger than that, upwards of 1060,” Fischer said. “In DARPA’s Make-It program, we’ve developed advanced ways to efficiently synthesize known molecules. AMD is taking the next step, where we will rapidly be able to explore the unknown molecular universe to design and produce completely new molecules with specific desired functions.” DARPA Press Release
DARPA seeks to become liberated from slow design and test phases as it brings to the military and the market the discovery and production of new molecules with military capabilities, including:
- Chemical warfare agent simulants
- Medicines to counter emerging threats
- Coatings (see my article on Spray-On Antennas)
- Specialty dyes
- Advanced performance fuels
- Development of undefined molecules for specific applications
These new molecules will not be created and tested by human chemists but by Autonomous Intelligent (AI) Systems.
“The ultimate goal of AMD is to speed the time to design, validate, and optimize new molecules with defined properties from several years to a few months, or even several weeks,” said Anne Fischer, program manager in DARPA’s Defense Sciences Office. “We aim to develop the AI tools, models and experimental systems to enable autonomous design of molecules to quickly meet DoD needs.”
The program calls for teams of researchers to develop AI-based, closed-loop systems that automatically extract existing chemistry data from databases and texts, perform autonomous experimental measurements and optimization, and use computational approaches to develop physics-based representations and predictive tools.
AMD performers will develop tools, models, and experimental capabilities to rapidly design, validate, and optimize molecules. Government partners will evaluate performer developments and test their ability to identify new molecules with specific combinations of functional properties that may be relevant to specific DoD application requirements.
The AMD program seeks expertise in chemistry and chemical engineering, computer science, AI/machine learning, and mathematics. A Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) solicitation with full details is expected to be published soon on FedBizOpps here: http://go.usa.gov/3W53j
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Going where angels fear to tread...
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Celeste has worked as a contractor for Homeland Security and FEMA. Her training and activation's include the infamous day of 911, flood and earthquake operations, mass casualty exercises, and numerous other operations. Celeste is FEMA certified and has completed the Professional Development Emergency Management Series.
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