Kairos Research was recently awarded a Phase 1 contract from the Air Force to explore the feasibility of using artificial intelligence (AI) to help procurement officials within the Department of Defense identify new suppliers for critical emerging defense technologies. Mr. Srikanth Nadella, a Senior Software Engineer at Kairos, is leading the effort in collaboration with researchers at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio. The project, titled Automated analysis of Supplier Capability for Ensuring National Dominance (ASCEND), seeks to develop algorithms for exploiting the ever-increasing amounts of “unstructured” text data available on the web. Examples of relevant data sources include manufacturers’ websites, press releases, technical white papers, and product catalogues.
According to Mr. Nadella: “Our objective in ASCEND is to develop novel machine learning algorithms that can infer which companies are best positioned to supply specific defense system components. If successful, we envision that ASCEND’s algorithms could form the core of a new generation of procurement analytics tools that improve competitive sourcing while strengthening defense-related supply chains.”
The ASCEND project is funded by the Department of Defense Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Program and managed through the Air Force’s AFWERX unit. The goal of the STTR program is to encourage joint ventures between small business and nonprofit research institutions, including universities.
Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the United States Air Force AFRL/SBRK.