The Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) is a U.S. government agency created in 1958. Originally created within the Department of Defense, the agency’s goal was to invest in and fund projects that developed new technology. More specifically, the agency’s primary aim was to enable the United States to lead the world in technological research.
The Advanced Research Projects Agency was created shortly after the launch of the Soviet satellite Sputnik. At this time, the leaders of the United States were devoted to establishing the nation as the best in the world in the field of technology. The Soviet Union’s launch of Sputnik bred new eagerness in the pursuit of such technological advances. The agency was designed to support this goal and provide special funding opportunities to new projects pertaining to technology.
The ARPA was first created within the Department of Defense. Since its creation, the agency’s name has been changed several times, and the agency was known in late 2010 as the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). Along with this naming refinement, similar agencies have been created in other federal departments. Each of these agencies has the same goal: to develop higher technology.
Newer Advanced Research Projects Agencies include an agency within the Department of Energy and within the Department of Homeland Security. The Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) was first authorized in 2007 and works to provide funding for those working toward technological advances in energy. Funding became available through the ARPA-E in 2009. The Homeland Security Advanced Research Projects Agency (HSARPA) works to support advanced technological developments within the field of homeland security.
The Department of Defense also had an additional agency, the Advanced Research Projects Agency Network (ARPANET). This agency was created by the ARPA of the Department of Defense along with a research team of scholars from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. ARPANET was a packet-switching network that played an integral role in the development of today’s Internet and worldwide computer networking.
If interested in applying for funding through one of these agencies, it is important to first educate and familiarize yourself with the various agencies. Investigate the primary goals of the agency from which you hope to receive funding and learn about past projects that have been awarded funding. Each agency has a website that outlines project submission guidelines, timeline, and other stipulations for applying for funding.