Intelligence & National Security Summit
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EPIC App Challenge

September 16-18, 2020
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The 2020 EPIC App Challenge Awaits!

Let your innovation flag fly high! You’re invited to enter the AFCEA EPIC App Challenge.

EPIC App Challenge Sponsor
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Here's Your Challenge

1. Use AI to identify an unstructured data set and combine it with a structured data set to produce meaningful, accurate and compliant results.
2. Show the solution uses its intelligence to:
  • go beyond basic information;
  • work out content automatically;
  • learn from human behavior; and
  • make predictions and forecasts for better insights and intelligent decision making.

Prize Awards

First place: $5,000
Second place: $1,000

The Competition

  • Data sets will not be provided. Participants must independently collect and use multiple different types of data such as:
    • Domestic and foreign news sites
    • Social media
    • Government-curated statistics
    • Academic white papers
  • Competitors must demonstrate the use of AI-based cloud-native tools with the end user in mind. Product pitches will not be accepted.


  • Participants will be assigned a 20-minute time slot to demonstrate their solutions to the judges online via Microsoft Teams.
  • Judging will be done virtually. Technical and scheduling details will be provided prior to the event.
  • Winners will be announced during the virtual Intelligence and National Security Summit, which begins at 1 p.m. EDT on September 16.

Important Dates/Times

Team Registration Deadline: 5 p.m. EDT, July 29
App Challenge Virtual Kick Off: 1 p.m. EDT, August 5
App Challenge Judging: 1 p.m., September 15

Rules and Guidelines

1. Contestants are allowed to use any legal types of tools and technology.
2. Participants can use any open data set and any facility.
3. All code must be the competitors’ own work.
4. 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 have already been developed violate the spirit of the event. However, participants may leverage existing elements such as open source libraries, databases, cloud services and snippets of code.
5. All solutions must be unclassified.
6. A team must consist of a minimum of one person and a maximum of five people. Team members do not have to belong to/work for/study at the same organization/company/school.

Available Resources

  • Azure Subscription will be provided for each participating team (value of up to $2,500).
  • Access to Azure Architects for questions pertinent to Azure services and not architecting solutions.

Judging Criteria

  • Creativity: Is this a new way to address the problem or an innovative solution?
  • Relevance: Would this solution provide for the needs of an IC 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 difficult would it be to implement it in real time?
  • Uniqueness: Is this an idea no one else has had? What tools did you use to make this stand out and different from other solutions?
  • Ability to be built upon: Could this solution be applied to other problems and expanded to provide more or other solutions for the customer in the future?

Questions should be directed to the EPIC App Challenge team at or call 703-631-6210.

The AFCEA Emerging Professionals in Intelligence Committee (EPIC) comprises intelligence and national security professionals under the age of 40 who focus on developing leaders, encouraging networking and contributing to the IC. Learn more about EPIC and how to join online.