DARPA breakthrough technologies report for 2015

Future signBack in March, DARPA released their latest vision for the future. I hadn’t really seen much coverage of it after that so I thought I’d share it.

There were four technologies areas highlighted:

  • Rethink Complex Military Systems: DARPA is looking to make weapons systems more modular and easily upgraded and improved. Likely similar to the architectural and design decisions being made in most businesses today.
  • Master the Information Explosion: DARPA is developing technologies to ensure that the data and systems with which critical decisions are made are trustworthy so they are looking at methods to create fundamentally more secure systems. They are also investigating the growing need to ensure privacy at various levels of need without losing the national security value that comes from appropriate access to networked data. Once again not all that different from the discussions taking place in most businesses today.
  • Harness Biology as Technology: Leveraging breakthroughs in neuroscience, immunology, genetics and related fields, DARPA in 2014 created its Biological Technologies Office. There has been success withneural implants and prosthetic limbs, and they plan on building from there.  DARPA’s work in this area includes programs to accelerate progress in synthetic biology, outpace the spread of infectious diseases and master new neurotechnologies. Not exactly at the core of every business but those in bio-tech are definitely looking here too.
  • Expand the Technological Frontier: DARPA is working on basic research to achieve new capabilities by applying deep mathematics; inventing new chemistries, processes and materials; and harnessing quantum physics. This is one area where government level funding makes a long-lasting impact where eventually the entire economy may benefit.

Although some information is not applicable to everyone, those interested in thinking about the future of their businesses should give this document a look.