DARPA's Role in IT Innovations

How a freewheeling government agency became the world's most powerful engine for advances in IT

Editor's note: These charts accompany our story "Happy Birthday, Sputnik! (Thanks for the Internet)."
Click through to that story for more about DARPA's past and present role in developing key technologies.

From its inception in the late 1950s, the Advanced Research Projects Agency, later renamed the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, catalyzed the invention of an astonishing array of IT, from time sharing and computer graphics to microprocessors and the Internet. The charts on this page and the next show how the U.S. government -- primarily DARPA -- has worked with universities and private industry over the years to develop these key technologies.

"The amazing thing is, all these things started with fundamental research, they all are at least 30 years old, and every one has led to a billion-dollar industry," says Victor Zue, director of the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at MIT.

DARPA innovations 1

Adapted from the Computer Science and Telecommunications Board of the National Research Council,
National Academy of Sciences (2003)

Return to "Happy Birthday, Sputnik! (Thanks for the Internet)" or see next page for more DARPA-led innovations.

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