Wednesday, January 20th, 2021

DARPA Toolbox seeks to aid vendor technology access

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The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has initiated its DARPA Toolbox, which provides open licensing opportunities with commercial technology vendors to researchers behind DARPA programs.

“DARPA performers are frequently encumbered by having to negotiate access to tools, IP and services, and execute complex legal agreements that take the time away from what they do best – advancing science to benefit the nation,” Serge Leef, the Microsystems Technology Office (MTO) program manager spearheading this effort, said. “Through DARPA Toolbox, we are working to effectively lower the high barrier to entry with the goal of encouraging more proposals from non-traditional and resource-constrained organizations that can bring innovative insights and ideas to bear on DARPA programs.”

The initiative provides researchers with access to select vendor tools and technologies throughout their contractual relationship with DARPA. Commercial vendors are expected to provide licensing of their tools at the team level.

“There are a number of mutually beneficial outcomes available to our performers as well as commercial vendors through this framework,” Leef said. “However, the greatest benefit will be our ability to tackle difficult technical challenges with increased speed, agility, and novel approaches to problem solving.”

DARPA maintains commercial vendors would benefit by gaining insights into agency innovations and research findings by creating non-production business models and legal terms more closely supporting DARPA research teams’ needs and use cases.