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REQUEST FOR INNOVATION

Verification of operational hardware authenticity and integrity





Response Due Date:
Wednesday, July 8th, 2020 by 11:59pm EST
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DESCRIPTION

In collaboration with our Client, a multi-national Research and Development organization, TechConnect Ventures is seeking technologies, manufacturing methods, and techniques that can verify the authenticity and integrity of hardware components by the end user as a primary safeguard against counterfeit, supply chain interference, tampering, insertion of malicious components, hardware trojan issues, and/or manufacturer changes.

Our R&D Client is a primary industry influencer and commercialization partner with extensive activities related to innovations for reliability, efficiency, affordability and safety in the areas of infrastructure and asset maintenance.

Responses are invited from individuals and organizations that describe commercial or industrially-viable solutions, emerging technologies and/or breakthrough capabilities to address this challenge. Innovators from every sector are invited to submit a response, including – but not limited to –industry, national labs, non-profits, consultants, start-ups, small business and medium to large corporations.


OPPORTUNITY

Near-term:

  1. Top technologies will be featured in an upcoming State of Innovation Report
  2. Potential collaborations, development and/or demonstrations with the sponsoring Client

Long-term: Potential for facilitated research, development and deployment of operable technologies.*

    * Contracts, financial terms and timelines are dependent on the nature and scope of the proposed technology. Any and all such agreements are at the sole discretion of and are solely negotiable between the sponsoring Client and the respondent, if selected by the Client.

TechConnect Top Innovators:     In addition to potential collaborations with the Client, TechConnect may select one or more highly impactful responses ("Top Innovators") to participate in an upcoming TechConnect Conference, Expo, Showcase, or Virtual Pitch Event.


BACKGROUND

 Digital hardware and connected devices continue to proliferate in the broader industrial sector – such as with microprocessors, integrated circuit chips and printed circuit boards (PCBs) – making the ability to monitor and verify the hardware provenance (device origin and manufacturing method) increasingly important. The security of the hardware is required in order for the software on these devices to be able to operated securely as well. While methods exist to verify software, the ability to do so for the counterpart hardware components remains a challenge.

One challenge that remains for hardware components is securing their supply chain from cyber attacks and threats. Supply chain attacks on hardware can be challenging to detect, yet they provide a significant advantage for the adversary. End-users need an independent and reliable method to validate the hardware components received through a supply chain in order to have confidence in its operational integrity and authenticity.

The objective of this request is to identify technologies and other alternative solutions that can reliably perform hardware integrity-based services. Entities and offerings for applications in all industrial sectors (e.g. energy, automotive, defense, aerospace, microelectronics) will be considered in the effort to identify capabilities and services for this application, and for further opportunities to collaborate and facilitate development of such  new technology in the near- and long-term with the Client.


INNOVATION REQUIREMENTS

TechConnect invites any and all solutions that meet its requirements for verification of hardware components. The ideal solution will:

  1. Prioritize ease of use by the end-user
  2. Enable or provide timely verification
  3. Be commercially cost-effective
  4. Be non-destructive in nature

Destructive solutions may also be of interest if they are capable of providing rapid verification results along with a significantly high degree of confidence in the final assessment.

POTENTIAL SOLUTIONS

 TechConnect is seeking potential partners of all types and from all industries to propose solutions. Potential solutions may include, but are not limited to:

Hardware-integrated approaches to verify integrity of hardware components Alternative solutions to development of hardware root of trust during manufacturing process
  • Physical Unclonable Functions (PUFs)
  • Digital Secret Unknown Ciphers (SUCs)
  • Trusted Platform Modules (TPMs)
  • Hardware security module (HSM)
  • Other novel or alternative hardware-based approaches
  • More efficient/rapid methods for visual inspection or detection
  • Techniques targeting electrical power output signal
  • Techniques targeting electromagnetic footprint
  • Combinations of approaches
    REMEMBER… We don't know what we don't know!
    If your technology or capability is not highlighted on this Request, but is able to meet the Request requirements please consider submitting a response in order to enhance your exposure to new partnership opportunities. Your solution and expertise may be an ideal fit for this innovation need!

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SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS

Submit only NON-CONFIDENTIAL information
Submissions for this Request include two items:

  1. The Submission Webform (available under on "Submit Innovation")
  2. One (1) Supplemental File (maximum file size 10MB)

The Submission Webform will include summary information about your innovation as it relates to this Request, including:

  • Contact, team and organizational information
  • A non-confidential summary of your technology or innovation, including relevant details about it addresses or meets the innovation requirements of this Request
  • Development status and readiness level
  • Value proposition and (potential) commercial impact
  • Development and scale-up pathway (if available)
  • Funding and award status (if applicable)
  • Intellectual property position
  • Type of partnership or commercial relationship sought with Innovation Seekers
  • Company or organizational profile

The Supplemental File will include a more detailed description, presentation, pitch or other overview of the innovation. Supplemental Files should expand on or enhance the summary information provided in the Submission Webform. Treat the Supplemental File as an opportunity to provide prospective collaborators with insight into your technology, capabilities and/or potential of your innovation(s).


EVALUATION

TechConnect Ventures and the Client will evaluate all responses. Based on the nature of the innovation and strength of the response relative to all submissions received, top innovators may be selected for further discussions or pitches which may lead to contractual or commercial engagements for the research, development or commercialization of the most promising technologies.

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QUESTIONS? Contact: info@techconnectventures.com