HBR Debate: Revamping DARPA

Professor David Patterson from UC Berkeley enters the HBR debate on U.S. competitiveness: Revamping DARPA is vital to Preserving the U.S. Lead in IT.

My comment on the blog:

David,

I appreciate your frustration, having heard much the same from many.

However, I would suggest that we have larger issues at work here than just failed tweaking of the DARPA model.

Our economy is suffering not from insufficient centralization, but rather lack of diversity. While I am one that agrees that DARPA can and should play an important role, it is a very minor issue in the grand scheme of things.

What we need is an entirely new research model that is less dependent upon DoD funding, and frankly less dependent upon universities and federal labs. Many if not most of the essential innovations that can benefit society I see on the horizon would be best served by smaller independent labs free from institutional conflicts.

The world has changed dramatically since DARPA was envisioned. Given the systemic failure all around us, we should be debating the fundamentals of the systems, and designing all new models tailored to the current environment.

Mark Montgomery
Founder & CEO
Kyield

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