August 11, 2008
Category: Press Releases
Origin of technologies: DARPA projects blend risk and reward in quest for the next big thing
Washington Technology, Aug. 11, 2008
By Doug Beizer
In the late 1960s, Lawrence Roberts helped develop a new kind of computer network that delivered information via packets. The new network eventually matured to become the modern Internet.
Much of the work on the technology was done when Roberts was chief scientist in the Information Processing Techniques Office at the Advanced Research Projects Agency, the original name for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. The new network became ARPAnet and then the Internet.
In the early 1970s, Roberts founded Telnet to apply the new technology to the commercial market. Although DARPA has evolved in the decades since Roberts left, the agency is still a great place to get funding for research projects that will benefit both the Defense Department and the commercial world, he said.
“It was a very strong period in DARPA’s history where they were not constrained as much as they are today,” Roberts said. “But the philosophy was pretty much the same as it is today in that we wanted programs which had valuable improvement potential for any particular technology. In the network case, it was equally valuable to the military and the commercial space.”
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