DARPA pursues opportunities for transformational change rather than incremental advances. It does so collaboratively as part of a robust innovation ecosystem that includes academic, corporate, and governmental partners.
To fulfill its mission, the Agency relies on diverse performers from throughout this ecosystem to apply multi-disciplinary approaches to both advance knowledge through basic research and create innovative technologies that address current practical problems through applied research.
DARPA’s scientific investigations span the gamut from laboratory efforts to the creation of full-scale technology demonstrations in the fields of physics, engineering, biology, medicine, computer science, chemistry, mathematics, material sciences, social sciences, neurotechnology and more. As the Department of Defense’s primary innovation engine, DARPA undertakes projects that are finite in duration but that seek to create lasting revolutionary change.
DARPA publicizes funding opportunities primarily by posting Broad Agency Announcements, or BAAs, that formally request proposals tied to specific areas of research and development. Each DARPA technical office also maintains an “office-wide” BAA that is less restrictive in terms of defining the specific capabilities being sought. Open BAAs offer a mechanism to reach DARPA for researchers with an idea that may fall outside of DARPA’s current priorities, but that the proposer feels could be valuable to national security.
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