2019 Intelligence & National Security Summit
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EPIC App Challenge

September 4-5, 2019 | National Harbor, MD

Integration. Innovation. Collaboration.

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EPIC App Challenge

EPIC App Challenge Sponsor
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The second annual EPIC App Challenge will focus on open source news and media for events across the globe that may provide viable intelligence to the US government. The top prize is $3,000, second place is $2,000, and third place is $1,000. The top 3 teams will also receive a free exhibit booth, a value of more than $2,000, for the day of the challenge to display their winning app to Summit attendees.

Judging takes place on Wednesday, September 4, the opening day of the Intelligence & National Security Summit. The challenge starts now, sign up!

Sign Up Now

2019 EPIC App Challenge Problem Statement

  • Extract news data from open source websites and applications (i.e., newspapers, blogs, television, social media)
  • Enrich data to make it more useful. For example the solution could associate data with known identities, object detection, news event geographic location, media outlet/source country of origin and/or data visualization.
  • Build a model to triage reporting and identify articles/news/videos containing viable intelligence.
  • Provide a method to push intelligence to those who would want to see it.

Additional scenarios potential users may look to leverage in a finished product. These are examples only and are not meant to limit solutions but provide ideas.
  • Is there reporting or a source putting out data that would indicate intentional bias and influence operations?
  • Is a particular news outlet/media source continually reporting on events in a different geographic region than where they are located?
  • Is there a way to enable exploration of further intelligence graphs with the application?
  • Can the user of the application select countries or topics of interest to help them find the most viable open source data sources?
  • Can users select particular sources of data for push notifications of triaged intelligence? (example: Twitter, BBC, CNN, etc.)
  • How will the user understand the ingested media data worldwide reporting profile? (example: how many tweets, posts, articles on a particular event)

All teams will get:
  • Free licenses to Microsoft Azure to help build the solution.

Virtual Kick Off

Phase 1: August 15 – September 4
While we encourage teams to start working immediately, we will host a virtual Q&A on Monday, August 15 to answer any questions you may have. Any team registering after August 15th will also be provided contact information if you have any questions along the way. You will have until 8:00am on Wednesday, September 4 to work on your project. Your solution should be presented as a live demo.

Phase 2: September 4
  • You will arrive by 8:15am to present your solution to the judges. We will kick off the event with opening remarks, and then each team will present their solution. Judging will be done science fair style. Judges will give each team approximately 15 minutes to present their solution. Judging will conclude at 11:00am. Following the round of judging, the winners will be selected and recognized on stage following the opening keynote luncheon, which begins at 11:45am.
  • Teams are allowed to leave their solutions set up the rest of the day for the 1,000+ INSS attendees to come by and see your solution.
  • Top 3 teams get a booth to be highlighted at the Lunch portion of the day with priority placement to highlight your winning solution to the 1000+ attendees.

Rules and Guidelines

  • You are allowed to use any types of tools and technology you need to use.
  • Participants can use any open data set.
  • Teams must be able to bring the tools and technology necessary for their presentations to the conference. Internet and power will be provided onsite at your presentation booth.
  • You can use any facility you would like to work on this.
  • All code must be your own work.
  • The intent of the EPIC App Challenge is for teams to discover what can be accomplished with new and creative solutions. The presentation of capabilities that are have already been developed violate the spirit of the event. However, participants may leverage existing open source libraries, databases, cloud services, snippets of code, etc.
  • All solutions must be unclassified.
  • There is a minimum of one member per team and a max of 5 members per team. (Team members do not have to belong to/work for/study at the same organization/company/school.)

Judging Criteria

  • Creativity – Is this a new way to address the problem or an innovative solution?
  • Relevance – Would it provide for the needs of an Intelligence Community or national-security customer?

  • Intuitiveness – Is this solution easy to use? Does the flow make sense? Is the design appealing to the eyes?
  • Value - Does it actually answer the question posed and provide a feasible solution?
  • Impact – As the solution is explored, does it provide more or less value than you initially thought?

  • Feasibility – Does this app actually work? If only a prototype or proof of concept, how hard would it be to implement in real time?
  • Uniqueness – Is this an idea no one else has had? What tools did you use to make this stand out/different from other solutions?
  • Ability to be built upon – Could this solution be applied to other problems and expanded to provide more/other solutions for the customer in the future? Or is it so specific that it is only good for one thing?


Contact Us! Email: epicappchallenge@afcea.org or call 703-631-6210.

The AFCEA Emerging Professionals in Intelligence Committee (EPIC) is an association of under-40 intelligence and national security professionals focused on developing leaders, networking, and giving back to the Intelligence Community (IC). Learn more about EPIC and how to join here.