Defense Advanced Research Projects AgencyTagged Content List

DARPA History

History of DARPA and its accomplishments

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DARPA’s pivotal investments in breakthrough technologies and capabilities for national security take place in about 250 possibility-redefining programs across dozens of fields, from quantum metamaterials and machine learning to neurotechnology and unmanned system autonomy. Throughout the year, the Agency produces updates about newly launched efforts, promising results, and major program accomplishments. We post them all on the DARPA news page, which in 2017 received 35 million page views—a 30 percent increase over last year.
The DARPA YouTube channel is home to hundreds of videos showing the depth and breadth of DARPA’s research and the amazing people behind it. All told in 2017, our videos were watched more than two million times, and viewers cumulatively spent almost eight years looking at our footage.
DARPA’s Twitter and Facebook feeds are two of the primary ways the Agency shares its diverse research with the world, and engages communities interested in our pivotal investments in breakthrough technologies and capabilities for national security. Our posts on Facebook and Twitter reached nearly 20 million people in 2017. Progress in the fields of autonomy, artificial intelligence, and neuroelectronics—along with anniversaries of past DARPA accomplishments in the development of robotics and communications—were among the most popular topics.
On February 7, 1958, four months after the Soviet Union boosted the intensity of the Cold War by launching humanity’s first satellite, then Secretary of Defense Neil McElroy established the Advanced Research Projects Agency with this mandate: “to provide within the Department of Defense an agency for the direction and performance of certain advanced research and development projects.” In carrying out that open-ended mission for the past 60 years, the Agency has become widely known as a driver of technological developments that have girded national security (stealth, precision munitions, and unmanned aerial vehicles) and that sometimes have transformed daily civilian life (the internet, miniaturized GPS, and emerging fleets of driverless vehicles).
September 5-7, 2018,
Gaylord National Harbor
Since its founding, DARPA has pushed the limits of what is possible to develop breakthrough technologies for national security. 2018 marks DARPA’s sixtieth anniversary, and in September, to cap this milestone year, the Agency is hosting a multifaceted symposium dubbed “D60: Breakthrough Technology | Past, Present, Future.” The institutional goals of the event are to strengthen and expand DARPA’s innovation ecosystem (which includes academia, industry, and government partners), inform stakeholders about DARPA’s vision and priorities, and learn from the Agency’s ongoing record of achievements and experience in the challenges of rendering not-yet technology into here-now technology.