DARPA is a venture capital firm and is the central research and development organization for the US Department of Defense. Headquartered in Arlington, Virginia, United States, it focuses on companies within the artificial Intelligence, information technology, and national security sectors. It usually issues funds for grants and Series A Rounds. Its portfolio companies include GRYFN, Xanadu, Cogito Corporation, Voyant Photonics, Ayar Labs, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Vector Launch, Paradromics, Synchron and Gamalon.
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency lists their mission as making pivotal investments in breakthrough technologies for national security. As part of this, they work to find transformational change instead of incremental advances. They work with academic, corporate and governmental partners with a focus on the United States military services.
DARPA comprises approximately 220 government employees in six technical offices, including near 100 program managers overseeing 250 research and development programs.
Known before as the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA), the agency was created in February 1958 by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in response to the Soviet launching of Sputnik 1 in 1957.
As of 2020, Dr. Victoria Coleman serves as the 22nd director of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the highest office in the department.