Research and Technology Protection


Research and Technology Protection (RTP) is a security risk-management process that identifies and safeguards information having an impact on national security.


Balancing innovative research and national security to facilitate transition of technology to the Intelligence Community (IC).

As part of IARPA Security, the RTP team:

  • Collaborates across the IC and U.S. Government to characterize global interest in relevant research thrusts;
  • Researches, identifies, and evaluates vulnerabilities posed by all proposed research activities;
  • Identifies risks and provides guidance regarding protection strategies, export controls, and the potential need for classification; and 
  • Implements security architectures through periodic pre-publication, classification, security, and acquisition activity reviews.

Former Director of National Intelligence, James R. clapper wrote,

"...[I] was impressed with the robust IARPA research and technology protection (RTP) process...[it] should become widely adopted as an IC best practice."

 (September 2014)

In 2015, the Information Security Oversight Office, which is responsible to the President for policy and oversight of the Government-wide security classification system, identified IARPA's classification guidance review process as a best practice.

The ODNI FY2016-20 IC Strategic Plan identified the RTP process of balancing open, unrestricted scientific collaboration and the needs of national security as a best practice.

Research & Technology Protection - Open, Unrestricted Research, Maintaining Intelligence Advantage

Based on tenets of National Security Decision Directive (NSDD) 189, signed by President Ronald Reagan in 1985, the RTP process enables a collaborative approach that balances the unrestricted sharing and publishing of IARPA research with the need to protect sensitive information by way of risk mitigation and classification.