12 Apr 2017

Dstl launches Data Science Challenge

Challenging data scientists to help improve the nation’s defence, security and prosperity, Dstl has launched its latest competition.

In its first public competition, Dstl is looking for the brightest minds in data science to help solve real-world problems. The challenges encompass detecting and classifying vehicles from aerial imagery, while others will be asked to help classify crisis reports. The competitions are now open to entry, with a prize fund of £40,000.

Part of the Defence Innovation Initiative, the challenge is designed to help build an open innovation ‘ecosystem’. By bringing together new talent from individuals, academia, and industry, it is hoped that new solutions will be developed to complex problems.

Through the Data Science Challenge, Dstl is piloting new ways of working, such as crowdsourcing, to engage the data science community and develop cutting edge solutions to Defence and Security problems.

The first challenges address two distinct problems designed to test a participants’ ability to extract useful information from large unstructured datasets.

  1. Safe passage: detecting and classifying vehicles in aerial imagery
  2. Growing instability: classifying crisis reports

Minister for Defence Procurement Harriett Baldwin MP said: “Our Innovation Initiative is about harnessing diverse and talented individuals from business, academia, and beyond to keep the UK ahead of our adversaries.

“In this latest challenge, supported by our £800 million Innovation Fund, we are calling on experts to develop the latest technology to crunch big data and identify the solutions that will keep us safe.”

James Srinivasan, a Principal Data Scientist at Dstl added: “Around the world, governments are using the power of data to meet many of the huge challenges that they are facing. By analysing complex, evolving information, data science can provide invaluable insight that informs how we can best respond to event.

“There is real talent out there and we want to encourage the curious to experiment and learn. We are determined to push the boundaries of what can be done, and to keep striving to always be better. This is why we are launching the Data Science Challenge today.

“We are keen to encourage all data scientists, not just those in the defence and security sectors, who want to rise to the challenges that we have thrown-down today, to get involved.”

To register, please visit: www.datasciencechallenge.org

Solutions should be submitted between 3rd April and 11.59pm on 17th May 2017.

Winners will be announced at the end of May 2017.

 

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