Newswise — WASHINGTON – To develop capabilities to monitor the current COVID-19 pandemic and other future biological events, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) has awarded $199,648 to Inc., for analysis and reporting of outbreak-related data. Based in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, is a current Silicon Valley Innovation Program (SVIP) portfolio company.

This award is made under SVIP’s Emerging Needs: COVID-19 Response & Future Mitigation solicitation and supports the National Biosurveillance Integration Center (NBIC), located within DHS Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction Office (CWMD). NBIC uses cases from the solicitation, which seek data analysis tools to monitor trends and validate open-source data from authoritative sources.

The project proposes to adapt their Earthstream Platform to provide DHS and NBIC with data that tracks metrics related to an outbreak or emergence to predict various risks of a biological threat. It automatically identifies, extracts and links geospatial data with relevant data, such as demographics and travel, for easy analysis and improved reporting. The Earthstream Platform is currently used to identify and predict for emerging agricultural pathogens and invasive species. Alongside prior work related to Zika and Ebola, has applied the Earthstream platform to COVID-19 analytics involving forecasting and analysis of agricultural, economic, and health impacts.

“We are looking forward to embarking on another project with,” said Melissa Oh, SVIP managing director. “Their work in agriculture and other prior global outbreaks have demonstrated the project’s adaptability to meet our needs in monitoring the evolution of the current pandemic and anticipating for any future public health crisis.”

This Phase 1 project proposes to broaden the data source discovery engine and develop capabilities to discover quantitative data from authoritative sources to meet the data needs of DHS related to the COVID-19 pandemic and other possible future biological events.

“DHS is very excited to work with,” said Dave Shepherd, S&T program manager. “At its core, the product is rooted in automated, continuous learning. It promises to deliver a platform capable of automated discovery of data helpful to understand the effectiveness of responses to current and emerging diseases.”

About SVIP

SVIP is one of S&T’s programs and tools to fund innovation and work with private sector partners to advance homeland security solutions. Companies participating in SVIP are eligible for up to $800,000 of non-dilutive funding over four phases to develop and adapt commercial technologies for homeland security use cases.

For more information on current and future SVIP solicitations, visit or contact [email protected].

About S&T

To learn more about S&T response efforts to COVID-19 across the Directorate, please visit S&T Support to the COVID-19 Response.

For more information about S&T’s innovation programs and tools, visit