Accession Number:



Innovation at DARPA

Descriptive Note:

Technical Report

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Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency Arlington United States

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A Long History of Innovation.DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, was founded early in 1958 by President Eisenhower. Initially called ARPA, it was created in response to the shock of Sputnik and other early Soviet missile achievements that suggested the U.S. might be falling behind its Cold War rival in technological achievement and especially in the technologies of war fighting and defense.The agency encourages, funds, and manages research carried out by the military, private industry, and academia to fulfill its mission of avoiding and creating technological surprise. Over its almost six decades of existence, it has supported and guided work that has changed the worlda phrase frequently heard at DARPA to ensure a focus on transformative innovation as opposed to incremental improvements in existing technologies.DARPAs many important achievements have included seminal roles in the development of the Internet initially known as Arpanet, stealth aircraft, miniaturized GPS technologies, unmanned aerial vehicles, flat-screen displays, and the brain-computer interface work that is making it possible for subjects to use their thoughts to move artificial limbs. In the process of directly funding and managing the development and these and many other technologies, the agency has also functioned as a catalyst for groundbreaking research and development undertaken by industry and academia.

Subject Categories:

  • Test Facilities, Equipment and Methods
  • Military Forces and Organizations

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