Intelligence & National Security Summit
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EPIC App Challenge

July 13-14, 2023
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The 2022 EPIC App Challenge Awaits!

Let your innovation flag fly high!

You’re invited to enter the annual technology competition designed, planned, and implemented by
AFCEA’s Committee of Emerging Professionals in the Intelligence Community (EPIC).

EPIC App Challenge Sponsors

CGI Riverside Research

The annual EPIC App Challenge provides a wonderful opportunity for corporate and individual contestants to showcase their analysis, critical thinking, and expertise in front of an audience of technical leaders and senior executives within the Intelligence Community.

EPIC’s annual competition previously focused exclusively on the development of software applications to address specific and relatively narrow national security technology challenges. With the increasing severity, complexity, and frequency of state and non-state cyberattacks to steal, malignly influence, and damage public and private sector targets, the EPIC Challenge has broadened the aperture of acceptable solutions to include not only custom software applications, but also demonstrations of security techniques and digital forensics as described below. Winners will be announced during the in-person Intelligence and National Security Summit, which begins at 10:00 a.m. EDT on Thursday, September 15.

Register Now
Only accepting 10 teams.

Prize Awards

First place: $13,000
Second place: $3,000

Judges will include:

Laura Galante
Deputy Director, Cyber Threat Intelligence Integration Center
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Joe Rouge
Deputy Director of Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance
US Space Force
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Ravi Budhu
Chief Software Architect and AI/ML Lead for the National Solutions Operation
Leidos Intelligence Group
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Stephen Kitay
Senior Director of Azure Space
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Robert McGinnis
Manager of Special Programs
Thomson Reuters Special Services, LLC
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Lewis Shepherd
VMware Research & Innovation
Vice Chair, AFCEA Intelligence Committee
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Hudson Sutherland
Director, Consulting Expert
CGI Federal
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Here's Your Challenge

As the technological and cost barriers to space recede, and more countries and companies engage in satellite production, launch, exploration, and spaceflight operations, new and exciting datasets are becoming more readily available. As exposure to new datasets increases, military, civilian, and commercial domains can expect greater risk from unique cybersecurity threats and challenges.

The objective of this year’s Challenge is to identify, describe, demonstrate, and defend against these cyber security threats by combining multiple open-source satellite datasets (USGS Earth Explorer, NASA Earthdata Search, NOAA Data Access Viewer, DigitalGlobe Open Data Program, etc.), and creating an application, data visualization, or presentation to demonstrate how an increase in available satellite data is crucial to solving today’s real-world problems. A software application is not required; however, the solution should demonstrate the following capabilities through a live demonstration:

  • Identify specific satellite datasets and their potential unique cyber threats.
  • Describe the benefits of combining the datasets and describe the unique characteristics of your identified attack and how it works, who the targets are, and what type of actor generally engages in this type of attack.
  • Demonstrate the benefits of combining the datasets with regards to the specific cyber threat with a visual representation (PowerPoint presentation, custom application, data visualization, etc.)
  • Describe how you can defend against the cyber threat. Please emphasize creativity, scalability, and usability.

The Competition

  • Data sets will not be provided. Participants must independently collect and use data from organizations and sites such as:
    • DHS CISA National Cyber Awareness System
    • NIST National Vulnerability Database
    • U.S. Cyber Command
  • Product pitches will not be accepted.


  • Participants will be assigned a 20-minute time slot to demonstrate their solutions to the judges.
  • Judging will be done virtually on the afternoon of Friday, September 9, 2022. Technical and scheduling details will be provided prior to the event.
  • Winners will be announced during the in-person Intelligence and National Security Summit, which begins at 10:00 a.m. EDT on Thursday, September 15.

Times are subject to change.

Rules and Guidelines

1. Contestants are allowed to use any legal types of tools and technology.
2. Participants can use any open data set.
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.

EPIC Toolbox

  • Cloud Resources for dev work will be provided. Details will be posted shortly.
  • 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 the solution 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 703-631-6219.

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.

Register Now
Only accepting 10 teams.

Official Event Publication