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R&D - Contracted | USA

Pentagon Redirects Its Research Dollars

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The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has long underwritten open-ended "blue sky" computer research. Some researchers report that DARPA is cutting "blue sky" spending at universities in favor of financing more classified work at military contractors, adding restrictions for security reasons, and giving preference to narrowly defined projects that promise a more immediate payoff. DARPA has now acknowledged this shift to the senate Armed Services Committee. Within a budget that rose from $546 million in 2001 to $583 million in 2004, the portion going to university researchers has fallen from $214 million to $123 million. DARPA has cited increased reliance on corporate research; a need for more classified projects since 9/11; Congress's decision to end controversial projects like Total Information Awareness because of privacy fears; and the shift of some basic research to advanced weapons systems development as reasons for these shifts. The New York Times has an unsympathetic article that offers more details.

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