Delaware Intelligent Software Firm Receives $2.5 Million to Begin Work on BioDefense
NEWARK, DE – Newark-based Quantum Leap Innovations has received the $2.5 million, secured by the Delaware Congressional Delegation as part of a Navy contract, to begin developing revolutionary, lifesaving bio-defense software designed specifically for the First State. Quantum Leap will now start to develop intelligent software for an early warning and defense system for chemical, biological and radiological defense threats. The Navy contract allows Quantum Leap to pilot the program in Delaware, bringing cutting-edge bio-defense technology to the state long before it reaches the rest of the nation. The contract was awarded after Senators Joe Biden and Tom Carper and Congressman Mike Castle secured the funding in the FY02 Defense Appropriations. Quantum Leap’s technology will be designed to detect suspicious agents and disease, closely monitor trends and to develop instantaneous, individualized plans for first responders and emergency management officials. Specifically, the system is designed to detect an outbreak; identify offending chemical or bio-agents and their sources; predict potential exposure; alert appropriate authorities (such as hospitals, local government, military and CDC); and provide continuously updated options and tradeoffs to decision makers. The technology may be used to track diseases, as well as to protect water supplies and to monitor unwelcome activity in secure locations. “This is a great example of what Delaware brings to national security. Quantum Leap provides the Navy with cutting edge information systems that will help minimize the threat environment and will also help mitigate the consequences of a chemical or biological attack,” Biden said. “Companies like Quantum Leap, run by dedicated professionals who are able to produce excellent and innovative products at lower costs than major computing companies, are what gives America the real long-term advantage in the fight against terrorists and military adversaries.” “Quantum Leap’s innovations hold the promise of saving an enormous number of lives by quickly identifying terrorist threats and coordinating defensive responses. Their technology is novel and its applications are lifesaving,” said Carper. “With its small size, easy access to state and emergency planning officials and manageable data collection, our state is an excellent arena for technology advances. By giving our state the best system in the nation for coordinating emergency plans, Quantum Leap is making Delaware a model for the nation.” “Bioterrorism is one of the greatest threats to the national security of the United States. Quantum Leap’s innovation is the type of technology our nation needs to respond to the very real threats of anthrax and small pox as well as the broader issues of nuclear and chemical warfare,” Castle said. This project illustrates the crucial role intelligent software can play in the antiterrorism efforts and the capabilities of Delaware high-tech companies and universities to be major players in that effort.” Quantum Leap’s breakthrough technology will monitor information collected by sensors and health data at hospitals and laboratories to get as early warning as possible to detect and identify health outbreaks before they occur. Working closely with the state’s first responders and emergency planning officials. Quantum Leap’s initial technology focus will be on Delaware’s needs. The firm started its Phase 1 contract from Office of Naval research on July 12th, Plans include the development of an intelligent software infrastructure and creation of a reality-based demonstration called the “Knowledge Wall”. The Wall will be a visual way of displaying plans of action that will assist decision makers. The Wall will allow collaboration among emergency officials and allow interaction via voice command and laser pointers. Quantum Leap’s software has significant homeland security applications for the Delaware Emergency Management Agency (DEMA) and homeland defense applications for the United States Navy. The same technology being developed to track diseases within Delaware can also be used to survey vessels approaching aircraft carriers in the high seas. By sensing explosives or biological containments that might be hidden in container ships and sorting through face, voice recognition, and other identification data, Quantum Leap’s system could be used to avert situations like the U.S.S. Cole tragedy. The company will be ready to demonstrate their technology to DEMA and the U.S. Navy within the next 12 months. Quantum Leap’s plans compliment other innovative biodefense technology being piloted in Delaware. Delaware’s Congressional Delegation has secured almost $2 million for the development of the Delaware Electronic Reporting and Surveillance System (DEERS). The database is the nation’s first computerized communicable disease reporting system prepared for threats of emerging infectious disease and bio-terrorism. Quantum Leap will coordinate their designs with DEERS, to continuously monitor cumulative data that is reported through the new database. Intelligent software will look for relationships and start precalculating plans of action from which state and federal decision makers can choose. The technology being developed by Quantum Leap could help Delaware companies as well by helping them detect, monitor and quickly respond to unusual situations like accidental spills or sabotage. The company plans to double the size of its Newark based workforce within the next year, hiring computer scientists and engineers. “We are pleased that our software developments have the potential to greatly benefit Delaware, both by providing valuable tools for earlier detection and response to terrorist threats and by showcasing Delaware technology leadership,” said Dr. Barry Bowen, Quantum Leap’s Bio-Defense Program Director. “We have a very strong team to help us on various parts of the program, such as disease representation, threat identification and collaborative creation of response plans for crisis managers.” Quantum Leap has significant partnerships with some of the nation’s most innovative experts. The company has recently joined forces with the The University of Hawaii’s Department of Information and Computer Sciences and Concurrent Technologies Corporation in Johnstown, PA. Partners for the initial contract include the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies (Arlington, VA), InfoValley (King of Prussia, PA), and the Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Institute (EOHSI) at Rutgers University and the University of Medicine and Dentistry of NJ (UMDNJ).