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Monday, September 22, 2014

Google Goes Darpa

More on innovation strategies.

" ... The famously innovative search company has taken a page from the Pentagon’s radical ideas factory. Here’s what’s brewing in Silicon Valley’s coolest skunkworks.

Today Dugan is leading a cadre of big-idea special forces—called Advanced Technology and Projects group, or ATAP for short—on an even grander mission for parent Google, where the unit is slated to remain after the sale of Motorola to Lenovo is completed later this year. ... The challenge? Bringing to fruition a slew of next-generation mobile wonders—not in a generation’s time, mind you, but in a handful of years instead. And though the group is still in its early days, it appears on track to deliver some jaw-dropping technological leaps that would help cement the 51-year-old Dugan’s cachet in Silicon Valley and beyond. ....

So what’s the ATAP playbook? It starts with identifying a project that demands a quantum leap in both scientific understanding and engineering capability to pull off (more on that soon). Once that is done, Dugan works to assemble a core team of experts at Google. But that team quickly casts a much wider net, tapping what are often a huge number of outside collaborators from across a mix of disciplines in industry and academia. That allows ATAP, with a staff of just 75 full-time members, to be far smaller and scrappier than traditional research labs. ....  "

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