Data Snapshot

DARPA is spending big on big data

The Defense Department is spending big on big data.  According to Deltek Principle Research Analyst Alex Rossino's new calculations, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's budget requests for big data research and development programs will grow by 39 percent in fiscal year 2016.

In the past two years, DARPA's big data investments -- which focus on advanced algorithms, analytics and data fusion, among other things -- have spiked 69 percent, growing from just under $97 million in FY 2014 to more than $164 million in FY 2016.

DARPA big data program spending by fiscal year

The complexity of emerging weapons and communications platforms have made defense systems increasingly reliant upon big data analytics and algorithms -- so much so, Rossino writes, that big data is now "a foundational technology without which an increasing number of advanced DoD weapons systems and platforms would not function." Not coincidentally, DARPA's research dollars have flowed into the following 11 programs since FY 2014.

Breakdown: DARPA big data program spending FY 2016
Program FY 2016 ($M)
ENGAGE $0.00
Scalable Optical Nodes for Networked Edge Traversal (SONNET) $8.00
Quantative Methods for Rapid Response (QMRR) $15.59
XDATA $38.72
Network Defense $35.00
Nexus 7 $0.00
Multifunctional Materials and Structures $22.90
Media Forensics $17.00
Mining and Understanding Software Enclaves (MUSE) $12.10
Graph-theoretical Research in Algorithm Performance & Hardware for Social networks (GRAPHS) $2.90
Performance Optimization in Complex Environments $11.80
Total 164.01

All but three programs -- ENGAGE, Nexus 7 and Graph-theoretical Research in Algorithm Performance & Hardware for Social networks (GRAPHS) -- will receive a substantial increase to their budget. The full analysis is available on the GovWin blog.

About the Author

Jonathan Lutton is an FCW editorial fellow. Connect with him at jlutton@fcw.com

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