DARPA's tech 2021 priorities include space, sensors, human systems

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has released its 2021 priorities for two of its main small business programs and on the list are space, sensors, human systems and IT.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has released its annual list of technology priorities for its Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer programs.

The agency will use broad agency announcements and other procurement methods for companies to compete for grants to conduct early research efforts. SBIR and SBTT are both tools DARPA uses to help small businesses advance new technologies that are useful to the Defense Department.

DARPA has identified 12 areas:

  • Air platforms
  • Chemical/biological defense
  • Information systems
  • Ground and sea vehicles
  • Materials and processes
  • Biomedical
  • Sensors, electronics and electronic warfare
  • Space platforms
  • Human systems
  • Weapons
  • Nuclear technology
  • Battlespace environments

Besides the information systems category, several of the areas are rich in IT, data analytics and related technologies.

DARPA is looking to fund early research efforts in these areas because they can have a long-term positive impact on national security.

“As part of this mission, DARPA makes high-risk, high-reward investments in science and technology that have the potential to disrupt current understanding and/or approaches,” DARPA said in its announcement.

DARPA hasn’t set a timeline for the SBIR and SBTT contracts to come out. Companies need to wait until specific opportunities are released before responding.