TechConnect Innovation Program

Intelligent, Adaptive Needs Elicitation – The Elicitor

ISSAC Corp, Colorado, United States


The Elicitor focuses on extracting semantic meaning from stakeholder statements of need and associating data from governance with those needs to provide a holistic view of the capabilities necessary to satisfy stakeholders. The Elicitor utilizes graphical data structures, advanced artificial intelligence (AI) and simulation techniques to achieve this.

Primary Application Area: Aerospace & Defense

Technology Development Status: Prototype

Technology Readiness Level: TRL 3


Value Proposition: This innovation provides a quantum leap over the non-existent technologies and methodologies that are in place in industry today. This innovation provides a way to leverage the full working knowledge of a domain to succinctly interpret and relay stakeholder needs to ensure lifecycle traceability through development, delivery and disposal.


Organization Type: Corporation

Showcase Booth #: 840



Government Funding/Support to Date: ISSAC was awarded a Phase I SBIR in 2011 by the Missile Defense Agency Directorate for Modeling and Simulation in response to a need for better articulation and management of the needs of a diverse set of stakeholders across a wide range of intended uses. The Modeling and Simulation Directorate, at the time, used a number of different methodologies and supporting management repositories for the task of gathering stakeholder requirements. This was, and continues to be, a very manpower intensive task that is prone to duplication and inaccuracy. The methods and technology requested in the SBIR solicitation is intended to remedy this situation.
Successful completion of the Phase I and Phase I Option effort led to the invitation and subsequent award of a Phase II effort which kicked off in November of 2013. The Phase II effort is worth just under $1M and has a period of performance that runs through November of 2015. The Phase I effort concluded with a technology demonstration of algorithms and processes that are being built into and expanded upon in the Phase II product.
The goal of the Phase II effort is to introduce a fully functional tool for needs elicitation to the engineering and business intelligence communities. This technology has the following capabilities: document ingestion, parsing and information extraction; information normalization and bias removal; information association; missing/incomplete information analysis; leading question formation; standardized needs output; and document creation. The Elicitor will analyze and assess domain information against stakeholder needs to develop a needs space that should describe all of the capability necessary to fulfill the stakeholders and operate within the defined environment for the system. The Elicitor, using graph data stores and AI, has the capability of querying users for missing or poorly understood information. At any time, the Elicitor can provide multiple output report formats including documents, industry standard models and formats capable of feeding into existing requirements repositories.
The Phase II effort is software rich with deliverable capability every three months beginning in May of 2014.

Primary Sources of Funding: Venture Capital, Corporate Venture Capital, Corporate Partner, Other

Looking for: Both Funding and Development Partners