October Issue No. 60 
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In This Issue

Challenge Winners at the 2014 TIDES Demo  

At this year's TIDES Tech Demo we hosted a panel on "Innovation in Government Through Challenges". The panel featured Ms. Heather King, Director for Preparedness Policy at the White House National Security Council, Jim Craft, CIO of the Joint IED Defeat Organization, and the Hon. Dennis McGinn, Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Energy, Installations and Environment. Each talked about ways in which the government could help stimulate technological innovation and preparedness for disasters. At the end of the panel we recognized all of our challenge winners.  Two of our challenge winners (see below) attended the session where they received certificates of appreciation from Dr. Dennis McBride, the Director of the Center for Technology and National Security Policy.

1st Place Winner of the ERW Challenge Philipp Breuss-Schneeweis with Dr. Dennis McBride 
Phillip Breuss-Schneeweis, 1st place winner of the ERW & Landmine Reporting Apps Challenge traveled all the way from Austria to visit the TIDES Demo.
Click here to read Philipp's blog about his experience at the TIDES Demo.
3rd Place Winner of the Disaster Apps Challenge, Jacob Birmingham with Dr. Dennis McBride,
Jacob Birmingham, 3rd place winner of the Disaster Apps Challenge traveled all the way from Alabama (leaving his family vacation early) to attend the TIDES Demo.


We would especially like to thank the judges from the Disaster Apps Challenge (Al Gembara, Nelson Jacobsen, Meghan Murphy and  Kyle Stewart) and ERW and Land Mine Reporting Apps Challenge (David Becker, Jim Craft and Tom Snitch).

We appreciate the participation from all of the developers who competed in these challenges and look forward to working with them in the future.We also want to thank everyone that submitted ideas to our challenge competition.

Click here to view all entries from Disaster Apps Challenge

Click here to view all entries from the ERW & Landmine Reporting Apps Challenge 
Internship Opportunities
Would you like to intern with TIDES? We are now accepting applications for the spring session.  For details about internship opportunities please click here.  In your application please state that you are interested in supporting the TIDES project.

If you have questions please contact star.tides.net@gmail.com

NEW: TIDES Ebola Daily News Digest    

The USG Intelligence Community and Texas State
University prepare and share the latest information and resources on the Ebola epidemic.

Click here to read the Ebola Daily News Digest

Our Ask:  

UN Peacekeeping Study  

If you have worked with the UN overseas in peacekeeping operations (PKO) we would like to interview you about your experience using PKO equipment, housing, bases and related systems. If you are interested in being a part of this study please click here to fill out the short survey.

For questions please email: star.tides.net@gmail.com

Upcoming Events in HA/DR and Development ! 

AIDF Disaster Relief Summit

When: November 19-20, 2014
Where: Ronald Reagan Building, Washington D.C.
The AIDF Disaster Relief Summit is specifically designed for senior representatives and experts from governments, NGOs, UN agencies, investors, research institutes and the private sector engaged in disaster relief and response.

*On 20 Nov., TIDES' Sam Bendett will speak on the panel "Building Successful Public Private Partnerships and Collaborations"

Click here to REGISTER
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This issue features interviews with the winners from our Disaster Apps and ERW & Landmine Reporting Apps Challenge.  
Meet the Winners of the ERW & Landmine Reporting Apps Challenge

By Alex Hoey


The Explosive Remnants of War (ERW) and Landmine Reporting Apps Challenge was designed to combat the unnecessary loss of civilian life at the hands of unexploded weapons such as artillery shells, landmines, mortars, grenades, and bombs. The competition challenged developers to use their mobile devices as a tool that could be used to report on ERW and landmines. Participants subsequently designed such devices and ultimately there were three winners: 1st Place: Channel 16.me, 2nd Place: Flare, and 3rd Place: ERW Detector. Below is a description of each application as well as a brief background on the developers and their stories:



First Place: Channel 16.me

The application is designed to report ERW findings to a centralized database by exact location and text messages, voice messages, or photos. Interestingly, channel 16.me was created based on the idea of a Walkie-Talkie and was curiously named after channel 16, the calling channel on the marine broadband which allows two sailors that meet to establish contact with the other ship if they so desired. The developers of Channel 16.me decided to participate in the Challenge based on the usefulness of their device. In fact, it was this Land-Mine Reporting challenge that sparked the reporting feature of channel 16. Developer Philipp Bruess-Schneeweis notes, "I immediately noticed the benefits that location based messaging would bring to land mine reporting" in that it opens up lines of communication, allows reporting via text, voice, or photo messaging, and informs those on the server but also users nearby of explosives.


Click here to read the full interview about Channel 16.me 


Second Place: Flare

The Flare team worked to develop a landmine reporting app as a means to correct the false assumption that citizens in developing countries have access to smartphones. Flare is a solution that allows any kind of phone whether Android, iOS, or another non-smartphone to send text messages to specific Android phones that then upload information onto a web application accessed by authorities to deal with newly reported explosives and landmines. The application has two parts. There is a web component that allows authorities to see the reports of landmines made by citizens and there is the Android application that is installed on various phones specifically set up by authorities. In the future, Flare developers hope, that with some modifications including voice note recording, this application will actually be deployed in developing countries.


Click here to read the full interview about Flare 


Third Place: ERW Detector

The ERW Detector provides civilians the ability to use their phone as a tool for detecting metal objects, land mines, and explosives simply by swiping the phone over a suspected area. Eventually civilians will be able to report the location and details of a given area to a central portal which lists other areas previously reported and simultaneously sends alerts. Moreover, the central portal will release collected information to authorities, which allows sites that are examined and deemed safe to be removed from the central portal.


Click here to read the full interview about ERW Detector 


Meet the Winners of the Disaster Apps Challenge
By Tiffany Powell

The Disaster Apps Challenge offered developers the opportunity to demonstrate their application's value to citizens and first responders.

Winners included: 1st Place: GovSAFE; 2nd Place: Siaga Banjir (Jakarta Flood Alert); 3rd Place: Pin Point Safety (National Storm Shelter); and receiving an honorable mention, Black Mamba Rescue Beacon. Below is a brief description and synopsis of their personal journeys.   


First Place: GovSAFE
GovSAFE, the Survivor Assistance Form Editor (SAFE)  locates an individual, identifies their local Disaster Assistance Center (DAC), allows them to begin filling out forms, and tracks their status. From a user standpoint, the benefit of this application is that it allows users to fill out all their information once from a website on their mobile phone, computer, or both. Rather than completing multiple sets of paperwork manually, the information is auto-filled onto the appropriate forms. GovSAFE was motivated to develop this application after hearing stories from the 2013 floods in Colorado. "We were told stories of survivors who entered an assistance center and sat down at a table with a box of tissues, several pens, and a mountain of forms. Many of them had just lost their home, and now they had to fill out their name up to thirty times, all manually, by hand. That was merely the beginning of a very long process, with very little feedback as to when they might hear back. "


Click here to read the full interview about GovSAFE


Second Place: Siaga Banjir (Jakarta Floods)

Prior to competing in the Disaster Apps Challenge, Siaga Banjir (Jakarta Floods) received multiple other achievement awards. Siaga Banjir was created to help Jakarta citizens get the most updated news about water channel conditions affecting the Greater Jakarta Area. The app explains the differences in water levels, who can be called to help, and what to do in an emergency. The developers were motivated to create the app because of flooding in the region, the amount of public attention it was getting from the local population and because of governance policies in regards to water levels.   


Click here to read the full interview from Siaga Banjir 


Third Place: Pin Point Safety (National Storm Shelter)

This application helps citizens report the location of available storm shelters and provides the public the ability to check in/out for accurate roll call and focused recovery efforts. Citizens will be able to notify first responders about their "needs" ("We need water") and "haves" ("We have a generator") during check in/out. PPS was inspired by two Terravolv managing partners -- Jacob Birmingham and Radhaji Mani -- after witnessing massive devastation left behind by tornadoes in  Tuscaloosa, Harvest, and other places close to home.  They realized if emergency responders had access to the precise locations of citizens and assets during any emergency event it could help save lives.

Click here to read the full interview by PPS 


Honorable Mention:  Black Mamba Rescue Beacon

Along with the cash prize winners, an honorary mention was given to Black Mamba Rescue Beacon, an application that allows users to send personal GPS coordinates to friends and family during a disaster.

The app was created by military veterans who were personally involved with rescue missions during their service both in Iraq and Korea. They hope that in the future the Black Mamba App will be deployed before any crisis management situation globally, to aid rescue personnel in efficiently completing their missions, and to help save lives.


Click here to read the full interview from Black Mamba




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