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Hacking the Human Element, Expo & Hackathon


From December 1-3, 2017 the MD5 National Security Technology Accelerator (MD5), in collaboration with SOFWERX, will be hosting its next Hackathon in Tampa, FL, focusing on wearable technologies and their applications.

‘Hacking the Human’—a single day expo, kicking off a weekend long hackathon event to develop novel wearable technologies for monitoring, optimizing, and enhancing elite operators—will bring together practitioners, technologists, developers, academia, industry partners and the military to build and demonstrate product prototypes that incorporate wearable technologies to measure, augment, and enhance the human as part of a system performing in austere operational environments.

Operational experts will provide unique insights into the physical and mental challenges, remote communication needs, data collection, organization requirements, and the application of these technologies in environments at the edge. These environments may include far forward medical facilities, casualty evacuation zones, conflict zones, first responder situations, and other emergency response scenarios.

Co-hosts of the Hackathon are SOFWERX, a public facing intermediary assisting with collaboration, innovation, prototyping and exploration with industry, labs and academic partners (under agreement with the United States Special Operations Command, implemented by the Doolittle Institute), and the Department of Defense’s (DoD) MD5, a program office under the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Manufacturing and Industrial Base Policy tasked with building enduring, human-centered networks of innovators inside and outside the DoD to solve critical national security challenges. MD5 and SOFWERX stakeholders provide technologies to be used in search of hardware/software hacks that address specific challenges: Physiological and Performance Monitoring; Data Analysis and Management; and Interaction and Response.

This is MD5’s fourth Hackathon and follows a similar event held in Cambridge, Massachusetts (July, 2017) in partnership with  Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Advanced Functional Fabrics of America (AFFOA) focused on leveraging emerging fabric technologies to create new solutions for emergency response. The Cambridge hackathon resulted in functional fabrics system prototypes addressed challenges encountered in environments such as disaster sites, conflict zones, and other scenarios of humanitarian relief.

Winning teams have the opportunity to be awarded up to $15K to advance their concept in collaboration with MD5.