Defense Advanced Research Projects AgencyTagged Content List

Fundamental Physical Science

Pushing the boundaries of knowledge of the physical sciences

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The history of technology is a rich story with individual, institutional, corporate, and governmental protagonists driven by necessity, the pursuit of fame and fortune, and visions of becoming more powerful actors in the world. The invention and proliferation of new technology has been a primary driver of both local and civilization-scale transformation. It’s a story that features brilliance of the highest order, dogged determination, good luck, bad luck, glorious successes, miserable failures, happy accidents, and lamentable unintended consequences. When it was founded in 1958 in the midst of the Cold War with a charge to prevent technological surprise by potential adversaries, DARPA became part of the ongoing technology story and has been conspicuously influential ever since.
National security challenges today are increasingly complex and multi-dimensional, demanding technological solutions that reflect the combined expertise of a broad diversity of professionals. But even when such experts are available and engaged, progress towards an integrated solution can be slowed by the lack of a versatile, domain-agnostic, collaborative platform, where innovation can happen not just despite but because of the disparate mix of participants’ perspectives and experiences.
DARPA aims to apply the power of social networks to research and development via a novel social media platform purpose-built to quicken the pace of U.S. technology development. Polyplexus, which was recently launched as a public platform, is designed to increase access to scientific evidence and accelerate hypothesis development, research proposal generation, and research sponsor engagement. The platform’s real-time interactions and functionality are designed to dramatically shorten the time between the emergence of concepts and the submission of worthy proposals.
September 11, 2018, 11:00 AM ET,
The Defense Sciences Office is holding a Proposers Day webcast to provide information to potential proposers on the objectives of a Broad Agency Announcement for the Polyplexus Pilot 2 program. Polyplexus is an online platform being developed under DARPA’s Gamifying the Search for Strategic Surprise program. The aim is to fundamentally reshape the research and development process by significantly reducing the time between concept emergence and worthy proposal submission by dramatically increasing efficiency. Efficiency gains will arise from collaborative activities focused on rigorous evidence collection and hypothesis generation, both of which are facilitated by online conversation. Ultimately, the purpose of Polyplexus will be to build on a continuous expert conversation about the present and future states of science and to generate superior R&D proposals that will be matched to research sponsors.
July 17, 2019, 3:00 PM EDT,
The Defense Sciences Office is holding a Proposers Day webinar to provide information on the objectives of a Broad Agency Announcement for the Polyplexus Pilot 3 program. DARPA strongly encourages participation by non-traditional proposers including small businesses, academic and research institutions, and first-time government contractors. Polyplexus is an online forum for the scientific community to interact with sponsors (e.g., DARPA program managers) in order to develop solicitations in any technical domain that lead to, for example, the opportunity to propose research projects. The Polyplexus platform is intended as a tool for sponsors to initially express a general scientific area of interest, and then engage with the technical research and development community through a constructive online conversation. The purpose of the structured conversation is to enable the research sponsor to guide the exploration, vetting, and refinement of a technical area of interest. The result of the conversation is then used for constructive activities such as soliciting performers to execute funded research on that topic. Polyplexus Pilot 3 is a continuation of the Polyplexus platform pilot test.