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Project on Advanced Systems and Concepts for Countering WMD

The United States Air Force’s Institute for National Security Studies (INSS), in support of the Project on Advanced Systems and Concepts for Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction (PASCC), is seeking innovative proposals for research related to countering weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and weapons of mass effect (WME).

This BAA’s primary objective is to attract outstanding researchers and scholars who will investigate topics of interest to the security studies community.

Specific research areas of interest include:

Proliferation of weapons of mass destruction: dealing with existing global horizontal and vertical proliferation concerns and their causes; developing strategies for preventing or, if prevention is not possible, minimizing the consequences of WMD/WME use and facilitating resilience and recovery; and anticipating new and emerging threats (whether by state or non-state actors). PASCC is also interested in topics related to the safety and stability of existing WMD arsenals.

Future technologies of mass effect: PASCC especially seeks to identify strategic weapons of the future, including such topics as infectious diseases, synthetic biology, nanotechnology, additive manufacturing, and autonomous systems. PASCC is particularly interested in anticipating and preventing threats to strategic stability and understanding non-obvious linkages between civilian technologies and possible warfare. Strategies for improving U.S. resilience and/or recovery in the face of future WMD/WME threats/attacks are a related area of interest.

WMD/WME delivery systems: (Including missiles, aircraft, ships, submarines, and unconventional modes). PASCC is especially interested in research on preventing new modes of delivery (including for chemical and biological weapons) and new approaches to managing or combating the spread or transfer of existing modes to countries of concern or non-state actors.

Management and prevention mechanisms/regimes: PASCC’s interests include improvements to and enhanced enforcement mechanisms for existing treaties, regimes, and international organizations responsible for controlling WMD/WME, developing proposals for new international and domestic mechanisms and explaining differing perceptions of (and assumptions about) WMD/WME. PASCC is also interested in the intersection between national and health security.

Multi-domain threats to strategic stability and hybrid warfare: PASCC is interested in the linkages between strategic stability and emerging dynamics in other domains (space, cyber, maritime, etc.). This area includes research on the prevention of attacks against critical national technical means, infrastructure, and other systems linked to strategic stability. Attribution, situational awareness, hybrid warfare, and verification in these domains are other areas of interest, as are tools for “measuring” the robustness (or fragility) of strategic stability as affected by activities in these domains.

Please note that PASCC does not fund training or studies aimed at the development of new technologies. Issues related to conventional forms of terrorism, and topics whose primary focus is on cyber security, are also out of its purview.

Detailed instructions for submitting white papers are included in the two BAAs available at [Funding Opportunity #USAFA-PASCC-BAA-2016 and USAFA-PASCC-BAA-2016-CALL-0001].

Beginning in FY17, the U.S. Air Force Academy (USAFA) will manage and execute the objectives of the PASCC. USAFA will facilitate the BAA and manage the ultimate goal of the research performed by providing research opportunities for essential faculty development, cadets, when possible, and the research community at large.

USAFA estimates approximately $3.5 to $4 million per year will be available to make PASCC-approved awards.

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