IARPA in the News

Washington Post

While industry analysts and venture capitalists argue about which nascent technology trends will stick around, one federal agency is betting its software can answer the question for them.

The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity, a group created to coordinate research for the intelligence community, has designed an application to identify technology that isn’t well-known today but might be in three to five years.


Government is targeting intelligence technology research to maximize its return while relying on industry to provide complementary development, according to a group of government intelligence technologists. This approach aims to address budget constraints amid increased investments by other nations.

Some of the community’s research practices were outlined by a panel at the AFCEA/INSA Intelligence and National Security Summit 2014, being held September 18-19 in Washington, D.C. Peter Highnam, director of the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Agency (IARPA), noted that IARPA does not fund basic research. Instead, it builds on the research done by industry.

Tennessee Today

“There are a lot of ideas out there where the required energy makes it impossible to put intelligence where it is needed,” said Holleman. “Brain interfaces to restore movement for paralysis patients is one area where this sort of technology could really help people.”

While such breakthroughs hold promise for a number of medical ailments, Holleman was quick to caution that it could still be years before they become commonplace.

In the meantime, the two professors have secured grants from the National Science Foundation, the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity, and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, which is funding their current project.


The Internet of Things promises to change everyday life—and intelligence operations—but it remains far from reality, according to government and industry experts. Aspects ranging from security to architectures remain to be determined as changing technologies alter outlooks.

An afternoon panel at the AFCEA/INSA Intelligence and National Security Summit 2014, being held September 18-19 in Washington, D.C., discussed some of these issues. Chris Reed, program manager, Office of Smart Collection, Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Agency (IARPA), said he sees a lot of potential benefits from networking a large number of devices, but many technical barriers remain before planners can unlock what those benefits are.


New research into terahertz radiation could lead to light detectors that can see below the surface of bodies, walls, and other objects, with applications in fields as diverse as mobile communications, medical imaging, chemical sensing, night vision, and security.

Xinghan Cai, Andrei Sushkov, Gregory Jenkins and Dennis Drew of the Center for Nanophysics and Advanced Materials, University of Maryland, College Park, in Maryland, Ryan Suess, Mohammad Jadidi, Shanshan Li and Thomas Murphy of the Institute for Research in Electronics and Applied Physics, physicist Luke Nyakiti of the Texas A&M, Jun Yan of the of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and Michael Fuhrer of Monash University, in Victoria, Australia, are supported through grants from the US Office of Naval Research, the National Science Foundation and the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity.

Science Codex

After nearly four years to complete, researchers belie they have opened a fundamentally new direction in photonics.

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego have built the first 500 Gigahertz (GHz) photon switch. "Our switch is more than an order of magnitude faster than any previously published result to date," said UC San Diego electrical and computer engineering professor Stojan Radic. "That exceeds the speed of the fastest lightwave information channels in use today."


A novel ultrafast photon switch could pave the way to a new class of sensitive receivers, faster sensors and optical-processing devices.

A team from the University of California, San Diego, created the 500-GHz photon switch, which they have already used to control photons in optical fiber channels.