The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) mission is to create breakthrough technologies for US national security.
By making pivotal investments in new technology-driven ideas for the United States, DARPA imagines and makes possible new capabilities for overcoming the multifaceted threats and challenges that lie ahead. Looking back, precision guidance and navigation, stealth, unmanned aerial vehicles, night vision, and communications and networking are among the technologies that changed the face of war over the last two decades.
More contact information
Phone: (703) 526-6630
Address: Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
675 North Randolph Street
Arlington, VA 22203-2114
Director: Arati Prabhakar
DARPA AND THE BRAIN INITIATIVE
President Obama announced the BRAIN initiative in April 2013. Today, the initiative is supported by several Federal agencies as well as dozens of technology firms, academic institutions, scientists and other key contributors to the field of neuroscience. DARPA is supporting the BRAIN initiative through a number of programs.
ElectRX: Electrical Prescriptions
The ElectRx program aims to help the human body heal itself through neuromodulation of organ functions using ultraminiaturized devices, approximately the size of individual nerve fibers, which could be delivered through minimally invasive injection.
HAPTIX: Hand Proprioception and Touch Interfaces
The HAPTIX program aims to create fully-implantable, modular, and reconfigurable neural-interface microsystems that communicate wirelessly with external modules, such as a prosthesis interface link, to deliver naturalistic sensations to amputees.
Neuro-FAST: Neuro Function, Activity, Structure, and Technology
CLARITY, a method developed with support from the Neuro-FAST program, uses a chemical process to transform intact biological tissue into a hybrid of tissue and hydrogel, a transparent material that keeps three-dimensional structure intact during preservation.
PREVENT: Preventing Violent Explosive Neurologic Trauma
The Preventing Violent Explosive Neurologic Trauma program is comprehensively evaluating the physics of the interaction between explosive blasts and the brain and has identified which blast components are associated with neurologic injury. The program will also develop test systems and predictive models that will characterize blast exposure to optimize treatment paradigms, explosive blast mitigation, and protective strategies.
RAM-Restoring Active Memory:
DARPA’s RAM program aims to develop and test a wireless, fully implantable neural-interface medical device for human clinical use that will facilitate the formation of new memories and retrieval of existing ones in individuals who have lost these capacities as a result of traumatic brain injury or neurologic disease.
RE-NET: Reliable Neural-Interface Technology
The RE-NET program seeks to develop the technologies needed to reliably extract information from the nervous system, and to do so at a scale and rate necessary to control complex machines, such as high-performance prosthetic limbs.
The Revolutionizing Prosthetics program aims to continue increasing functionality of DARPA-developed arm systems to benefit servicemembers and others who have lost an arm. The dexterous hand capabilities developed under the program have already been applied to small robotic systems used to manipulate unexploded ordnance, reducing the risk of limb loss among Soldiers.
SUBNETS: Systems-Based Neurotechnology for Emerging Therapies
The SUBNETS program seeks to create implanted, closed-loop diagnostic and therapeutic systems for treating neuropsychological illness.
DARPA’s investment strategy begins with a portfolio approach. Reaching for outsized impact means taking on risk, and high risk in pursuit of high payoff is a hallmark of DARPA’s programs. We pursue our objectives through hundreds of programs. By design, programs are finite while creating lasting revolutionary change. They address a wide range of technology opportunities and national security challenges. This assures that while individual efforts might fail—a natural consequence of taking on risk—the total portfolio delivers.
How do we create this portfolio of programs? One major part of the answer is bottom up: DARPA program managers define and propose new programs they believe promise revo-lutionary change. This is important for several reasons. An effective DARPA program manager is the person closest to the critical challenges and possible technology opportunities in his or her arena, and the personal inspiration and drive behind a novel idea is the spark needed to start a big fire. More fundamentally, surprise rarely comes from groupthink.
Yet we recognize that our work lives in a context of today’s realities and tomorrow’s outlook. So a framework for DARPA—an understanding of our enduring mission in the context of the geopolitical and technological environment and its direction—is vital in shaping our portfolio.
We focus on three essential, interdependent strategic objectives to carry out our mission:
Demonstrate breakthrough capabilities for national security
Catalyze a differentiated and highly capable U.S. technology base
Ensure DARPA itself remains robust and vibrant to deliver on its mission today and in the future.
We pursue each of these objectives in the context of our current framework. More
The short tenure of DARPA technical staff (Program Managers, Deputy Program Managers, Office Directors, Deputy Office Directors, Directors and Deputy Directors), means that even though the technical staff numbers at around 120 any given year, the number of Scientists and Engineers who have done a 3-5 year turn at DARPA, is a generous and well-placed group. The majority of the DARPA alumni consider their tenure at DARPA a life-changing experience. More
THE SOCIETAL IMPLICATIONS OF NEW TECHNOLOGIES
Because our programs push the leading edge, they are sometimes society’s first encounter with the dilemmas associated with new technologies. We pursue these technologies because of their promise, but we understand, that in this pursuit, we might be working in areas that raise ethical, legal, security, or policy questions. More
DARPA AND THE BRAIN INITIATIVE
President Obama announced the BRAIN initiative in April 2013. Today, the initiative is supported by several Federal agencies as well as dozens of technology firms, academic institutions, scientists and other key contributors to the field of neuroscience. DARPA is supporting the BRAIN initiative through a number of programs. More