The Department of Homeland Security has chosen Battelle as one of the eight finalists for a two-phase, $1.55M contest that seeks new tools and technology platforms to automatically detect opioids in mail coming into the U.S.
Battelle proposed an automated multimodal opioid detection approach that employs machine learning, hyperspectral imaging and dual-energy radiography to identify illicit drugs in packages.
Under phase 2, the finalists will undergo a 14-week prototyping period with the assistance of public and private sector experts. The competition, which will culminate in an on-site live test at a government location, is offering a grand prize of $500K and a consolation prize of $250K.
DHS S&T will select a winner to further develop the winning platform for potential deployment to U.S. facilities that handle international cargo.
The directorate introduced the challenge in February with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Customs and Border Protection,and National Drug Control Policy.
Eighty-three proposals were submitted and reviewed for the prize competition.