Looking for bigger roles in game-changing leaps in tech capabilities

ASU Prof. Jennifer Kitchen with two young male students, one looking through microscope

DARPA is a beacon for engineers and scientists yearning to take a bit of a walk on the wild side in their research pursuits.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency “is known for being willing to fund some of the most intriguing ‘out-there’ kind of stuff,” says Jamie Winterton. “They like going after the big-picture, game-changing advances in technology, the moonshot research that tries to take big leaps instead of small steps.”

This agency of the U.S. Department of Defense is responsible for promoting the development of emerging technologies for use by the nation’s military forces and other national security operations.

DARPA describes its mission as being an enabler of endeavors to “expand the frontiers of technology and science” for the purpose of ensuring the country’s defense tools remain the most sophisticated, effective and resilient.

From Arizona State University’s perspective, DARPA is “exactly the kind of institution that a university of our size and range of research expertise should be working with more than we are,” says Winterton, the director of strategy for ASU’s Global Security Initiative and leader of its recently created DARPA Working Group.

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