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Palantir Technologies

FDA and Palantir Partner to Modernize Food Supply Chain Resilience Through 21 Forward Initiative

Palantir will act as the central operating platform for proactive food supply chain disruption monitoring and crisis response.

October 31, 2022


DENVER — Palantir Technologies Inc. announced that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will expand its work with the company to help modernize the agency's approach to food supply chain and resilience through the 21 Forward Initiative. Palantir will act as the central operating platform for proactive food supply chain disruption monitoring and crisis response. The contract is worth $22 million.

21 Forward, powered by the Palantir platform and a part of the FDA's "New Era of Smarter Food Safety" blueprint, brings together multiple data sources from several government agencies, including the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), to identify areas of the food supply chain where there will likely be disruptions. The Office of Food Policy and Response (OFPR) leads the 21 Forward initiative and was established to implement a modernized approach to food safety for both domestically produced and imported foods.

"Now more than ever public health preparedness is central to our security and safety as a nation and we are honored to support our leading institutions with best in class technology to anticipate and plan for these events," said Dr. William Kassler, Chief Medical Officer, Palantir. "By leveraging technology, the FDA is investing in a foundational data-driven approach to improve outcomes for our country."

Launched as a pilot with Palantir in 2020, 21 Forward sought to enable users and key stakeholders to dynamically understand and mitigate how domestic COVID-19 incident rates impacted segments of the food system and production — and most recently was leveraged as part of the federal response once infant formula shortage reached a crisis point. The shortage, brought on by the recall of formula, underscored the need for centralization and integration of inter-agency and commercial data sources. Over the past two years and following these two major events, the FDA recognized the real impact a data-driven platform can have and took immediate action to extend this effort. 

21 Forward now serves as a coordination hub to support decision-makers with the information they need to respond to similar crises. This contract empowers the FDA to address a broader food safety scope and focus not only on crisis response, but also identify and plan preventative measures in the case of food safety events.

Since partnering with Palantir to support 21 Forward, the agency has been able to quickly stand up a scalable infrastructure. With the evolving nature of public health supply chains, it was essential that OFPR have an environment for rapid application configuration. In a matter of weeks, the platform was established as the central operating platform on supply chain analytics related to infant formula earlier this year. 

Additionally, the FDA will leverage investments it has already made in modernized infrastructure and lead with a cloud-first approach. 21 Forward is deployed in the Palantir Federal Cloud Service (PFCS), Palantir Technologies' FedRAMP Moderate cloud environment. The initiative's hosting infrastructure and operations are a managed, standardized, tested, and externally audited Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platform that scales to meet demand. Palantir is certified compliant with the following industry standards and frameworks to provide the highest levels of security to the FDA, including: SOC 2 Type 2 (Security, Confidentiality, and Availability), FedRAMP (Moderate), and IL6 DoD SRG. 

Palantir has deep experience in the public and commercial health sectors and is a proven leader in delivering mission critical software across the public health supply chain.