The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) is a division of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) that, according their website, “invests in high-risk, high-payoff research programs to tackle some of the most difficult challenges of the agencies and disciplines in the Intelligence Community.” They collaborate across the intelligence community to ensure that research addresses relevant future needs. This cross-community focus ensures their ability to: (1) address cross-agency challenges, (2) leverage both operational and R&D expertise from across the IC, and (3) coordinate transition strategies with agency partners. IARPA does not have an operational mission and does not deploy technologies directly to the field. Instead, IARPA facilitates the transition of research results to IC customers for operational application.
IARPA is led by a distinguished group of accomplished scientists and researchers. It is modeled after the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), and was established in 2006 with the mandate to:
- conduct cross-community research
- target new opportunities and innovations
- generate revolutionary capabilities
IARPA was tasked to accomplish these objectives by drawing upon the technical and operational expertise that resides within the intelligence agencies. This ensured IARPA’s programs will be uniquely designed to anticipate the long-term needs of, and provide research and technical capabilities for, the Intelligence Community.