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Friday, December 20, 2013

IARPA: Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity

Have been involved with DARPA in the past.  I just recently had cause to look at IARPA, a much newer agency.  Only since 2006. They describe themselves:

" ... The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) invests in high-risk, high-payoff research programs that have the potential to provide the United States with an overwhelming intelligence advantage over future adversaries. IARPA works very closely with the various members of the Intelligence Community to ensure that its programs address relevant future needs and to facilitate the transition of demonstrated capabilities. However, IARPA is not an operational organization, and it neither collects raw intelligence nor produces and disseminates intelligence analyses. To ensure organizational agility, IARPA focuses on long-term, 3-5 year programs rather than the short-term time horizons.

IARPA tackles some of the most difficult challenges across the intelligence agencies and disciplines, and results from its programs are expected to transition to its IC customers. IARPA does not have an operational mission and does not deploy technologies directly to the field.

It is about taking real risk
It is not about "quick wins", "low-hanging fruit", or "sure things"
Failure is completely acceptable as long as...
It is not due to failure to maintain technical and programmatic integrity
Results are fully documented
“High-risk/ High-payoff” is not a free pass for stupidity
IARPA brings the best minds to bear on our problems
IARPA sponsors full and open competition to the greatest possible extent
IARPA will not start a program without a good idea and an exceptional person to execute it
IARPA’s cross-community focus ensures its ability to...
Address cross-agency challenges
Leverage expertise from across the community (both operational and R&D)
Work transition strategies and plans with agency partners
High standards of technical rigor
All IARPA programs are structured according to the Heilmeier framework
Technical excellence and technical truth are the hallmarks of all IARPA programs ....  " 

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