President's Budget Request for DARPA Aims to Fund Promising Ideas, Help Regain Prior Levels

Fiscal Year 2015 Proposal to Congress Would Increase Funding for Path-breaking Innovations

With an eye on the urgent need to develop breakthrough technologies for national security, the President's requested budget of $2.915 billion in Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) would allow the agency to pursue promising new ideas and help to restore some of the reductions in the agency's budget from prior years.

By making pivotal investments in new technology-driven ideas for the United States, DARPA imagines and makes possible new capabilities for overcoming the complex, multifaceted threats and challenges that lie ahead. "We are faced with huge uncertainties and shifting threats, but we also have unparalleled opportunities to advance technologies in a way that can provide the nation with dramatic new capabilities," said DARPA Director Arati Prabhakar.

Looking back, precision guidance and navigation, stealth, unmanned aerial vehicles, night vision, and communications and networking are among the technologies that changed the face of war over the last two decades. Many people and organizations worked to make these technologies a reality. In each case, DARPA made key early investments that changed what was possible and started a revolution in capability.

Between FY 2009 and FY 2013, the DARPA's budget declined by 20 percent in real terms, including the sequestration reduction of FY 2013. FY 2014 appropriations restored $199 million.

The FY 2015 request for $136 million above the $2.779 billion appropriated in FY 2014 "would enable DARPA to invest more in vital areas that will improve U.S. national security by rethinking complex military systems, capitalizing on information at scale, and advancing biology as technology," said Prabhakar. She added, "It also would allow DARPA to restore funding for its basic research portfolio so that we can continue to create new technologies in support of future capabilities."

Further details about the President's budget request for DARPA, which is part of the Department of Defense (DoD) proposed budget, will be available later in March.

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