For sixty years, DARPA has held to a singular and enduring mission: to make pivotal investments in breakthrough technologies for national security. The ultimate results have included not only game-changing military capabilities such as precision weapons and stealth technology, but also such icons of modern civilian society such as the Internet, automated voice recognition and language translation, and Global Positioning System receivers small enough to embed in myriad consumer devices.
DARPA is focused today on a range of next-generation technologies and systems, including advanced microelectronics, netcentric warfare, advanced airborne and naval systems, quantum computing, and artificial intelligence. At the same time, industry – and particularly the commercial technology sector – is making tremendous investments in areas of common interest. This report examines DARPA’s spending priorities as expressed in the FY24 budget, and comments on high-level steps that could be taken to capitalize on commercial / private sector technology development efforts. We hope that you find this brief analysis interesting and enlightening, and look forward to addressing any questions that you may have.