Over the next few weeks, we here at the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies will be sharing 20 interesting facts and anecdotes that we've accumulated over the past two decades. We look forward to another 20 years serving our country through providing guidance in the world of science and technology policy and innovation. Please enjoy one of our 20 interesting facts today:

In 2001, the Institute was asked to conduct a six-month study of technology transition at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), with the objective of improving the rate of transition to military users. Elements of the study included an examination of how the economic and technical factors influence the technology transition and how industry practices may be of benefit to government technology producers. The study team examined the extensive factors that either impede or improve transition potential, including technologies that have been developed over the past 40 years that have been implemented into military use. 124 transitioned DARPA projects were analyzed, some of which were tracked from their conception at DARPA to their actual integration into the military. The study found that DARPA’s transition performance had been excellent over the past 40 years, inserting over 120 products or technologies into fielded systems (approximately three per year).

Overall, the study demonstrated that the transition at DARPA is an opportunistic pursuit, greatly enhanced by skilled and dedicated DARPA industry program manager and Service agent teams. The report offered suggestions on implementing changes to DARPA’s transition strategies and policies. Furthermore, the Institute recommended developing a better system of tracking and recording transitions and lessons learned, and integrating the results, as well as ensuring sufficient technological maturity of products.

The report can be found here.


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Our Mission

The Potomac Institute for Policy Studies is an independent, 501(c)(3), not-for-profit public policy research institute. The Institute identifies and aggressively shepherds discussion on key science and technology issues facing our society. From these discussions and forums, we develop meaningful science and technology policy options and ensure their implementation at the intersection of business and government.


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