Skip to comments.Secrets of Darpa's Innovation Machine
Posted on 02/17/2013 11:27:08 AM PST by oxcart
Lots of people like to think of government as a black hole that sucks in tax dollars and allows nothing of value to emerge. They havent taken a look at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.
This secretive research arm of the Defense Department has a unique mission: to embrace the most wide-eyed visions of the future and manifest them in the here and now. Founded in 1958 as a shocked and fearful response to Russias launch of Sputnik, the first artificial satellite, Darpa has over 45 years racked up a consistent record of innovation that has utterly transformed contemporary life: the Internet, cloud computing, GPS, speech recognition, satellite imagery. Of course, thats to say nothing of the departments many military technologies, such as aircraft nearly invisible to radar, unmanned autonomous aerial vehicles, and interplanetary rocket engines.
(Excerpt) Read more at forbes.com ...
The head of DARPA is always a temporary position.
Yes, that does, as the article admits, give him or her a sense of urgency.
But the really important thing it does is prevent the organization from falling into a cultural rut.
DARPA will seize your hi-tech patent/IP/trade secret “in the interest of national security” unless you have at least a million dollars in the bank and big bucks behind you. Read their fine print.
article about DARPA
Lest we mis-remember, before DARPA was ARPA as in APRA-net.
Thanks for the ping. This is an excellent article about an excellent organization.
I worked on a high risk DARPA project last year. We made so much progress that they cut our money for this year. They only fund high risk stuff. Once you eliminate the risk, the money goes away since they figure a private company will fund the rest. Very frustrating.
I served in the Bangkok center in 1962 - 1963. I was primarily an operations analyst, but I did a lot of testing of various kinds of electronic gear. It was an interesting and challenging assignment, not only professionally but personally, as it gave my family a chance to have an overseas tour. I did a lot of traveling "upcountry" in Thailand, and had some temporary duty in South Vietnam, where I conducted surveys of needed capabilities for electronic equipment.
Yup. I would bet that the ROI contributed to the US GNP by the development of the internet has more than paid for every project ARPA (and later DARPA) has ever funded.
I thought this was going to be an article about Al Gore.
Bump for later