Defense Advanced Research Projects AgencyTagged Content List


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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.
DARPA’s Biological Technologies Office develops capabilities that embrace the unique properties of biology—adaptation, replication, complexity—and applies those features to revolutionize how the United States defends the homeland and prepares and protects its Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines. BTO is helping the Department of Defense to counter novel forms of bioterrorism, deploy innovative biological countermeasures to protect U.S. forces, and accelerate warfighter readiness and overmatch to confront adversary threats.
DARPA's Defense Sciences Office (DSO) identifies and pursues high-risk, high-payoff research initiatives across a broad spectrum of science and engineering disciplines and transforms them into important, new game-changing technologies for U.S. national security. Current DSO themes include frontiers in math, computation and design, limits of sensing and sensors, complex social systems, and anticipating surprise. DSO relies on the greater scientific research community to help identify and explore ideas that could potentially revolutionize the state-of-the-art.
The mission of the Defense Sciences Office (DSO) is to identify and pursue high-risk, high-payoff research initiatives across a broad spectrum of science and engineering disciplines and to transform these initiatives into disruptive technologies for U.S. national security.
In 1960, ARPA helped establish what now is the burgeoning field of materials science and engineering by announcing the first three contracts of the Agency’s Interdisciplinary Laboratory (IDL) program. Following these initial four-year renewable contracts to Cornell University, the University of Pennsylvania, and Northwestern University, the Agency awarded nine more IDL contracts around the country. The program lasted just over a decade when, in 1972, the National Science Foundation (NSF) took over the program and changed its name to the Materials Research Laboratories (MRL) program.