DARPA looking to diversify ranks of contributors

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DARPA is looking for innovation and inspiration with Proposers' Day event. (Stock image)

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency later this month will open its doors to potential partners in a bid to accelerate innovation and acquire advanced technologies that span a wide scope of requirements.

DARPA's Tactical Technology Office is hosting Proposers' Day, which will actually take place over two days, April 23 and April 24 at the agency's Arlington, Va., headquarters. According to a DARPA website detailing the event, registration is now closed due to reaching capacity.

The TTO's responsibilities represent a range of areas of focus, missions and capabilities, and now DARPA officials are looking for ways to more efficiently address the broad array of requirements in ways that better integrate evolving technologies – and take on evolving threats.

The TTO's strategy includes global capabilities applicable to all combat environments, and developing technologies and strategies that keep American forces ahead of the nation's enemies, according to its website. "TTO is explicitly not interested in approaches or technologies that make incremental or evolutionary advancements over the state-of-the-art. TTO is interested in research, design, development, and demonstration of systems which create a decisive overmatch or asymmetric capability in accordance with the TTO mission," the description reads.

In a press release, TTO's director expanded on that idea, noting that the agency is looking beyond the companies and organizations the agency typically partners with.

"We're looking for potentially huge leaps forward from the existing state of the art, not incremental improvements," TTO Director Brad Tousley said in DARPA's announcement of the event. "We want to work with innovative risk-takers, including nontraditional and traditional, large and small contractors, and research/academic institutions. For qualified systems developers who have always wanted to work with DARPA, this is the opportunity to learn how."

In particular, the agency is seeking contributors for the following:

• Ground systems: soldier/squad technologies, combat vehicles and tactical operations in urban environments

• Maritime systems: surface and subsurface technologies.

• Air systems: novel air vehicles and hypersonic airframes.

• Space systems: spacecraft technologies, space situational awareness and systems for access.

More information can be found at DARPA's FedBizOpps notice detailing the event.

About the Author

Amber Corrin is a former staff writer for FCW and Defense Systems.

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