Tech Transfer eNews Blog

CIA launches its first federal lab in effort to boost innovation


By Jesse Schwartz
Published: October 14th, 2020

The CIA is launching its first federal lab for in-house research and development, enabling the agency to partner with other federal labs, universities and technology companies.

CIA Labs will also help officers to obtain patents and licenses, and to make a limited amount of money from the intellectual property they develop while working at the agency. The new lab will focus on a wide range of technologies, including advanced materials, artificial intelligence, biotechnology, virtual reality, robotics and more.

“This is helping maintain U.S. dominance, particularly from a technological perspective,” says Dawn Meyerriecks, head of the CIA’s Directorate of Science and Technology. “That’s really critical for national and economic security. It also democratizes the technology by making it available to the planet in a way that allows the level of the water to rise for all.”

In recent years, the agency has been building out its innovation efforts. It launched several initiatives, including: In-Q-Tel, its own venture capital firm; the Directorate of Digital Innovation, which is charged with accelerating innovation across the agency’s mission activities; and Digital Futures, which engages with industry to take CIA technologies to the marketplace.

According to Meyerriecks, CIA Labs will nurture and attempt to commercialize innovations developed at the agency that “could change the conversation” around some emerging technologies, such as 5G, battery technology, and machine learning.

“It’s an endless list that we collectively own, but the world desperately needs,” says Meyerriecks. “And if your attitude is ‘I will get this to production and then I will wait for the next procurement opportunity,’ then we are collectively part of the problem, not part of the solution.”

Source: FedTech

Posted under: Tech Transfer e-News

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