30 December 2008

DARPA Dollars ~ Fighting Words Over R&D Funds

Rick Merritt writes in the EE Times that DARPA chief reviews legacy: Critics call for new direction at $3 billion agency pointing out disagreements with Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Director Tony Tether about funding directions and priorities. Point...
"Bill Dally, chairman of Stanford's computer science department, said in that report the amount of the university's computer research funded by DARPA dropped from 80 percent in the late 1990's to just 15 percent. At MIT, DARPA funding made up 62 percent of its computer science budget with the money aimed at 3-5 year projects in 1999, but it has declined to about 24 percent and aimed at shorter term projects, said Rodney Brooks, former chairman of MIT's computer science department, speaking in the 2005 article."
"Tether said he did not dispute those numbers, but they were not due to declines in DARPA funding for basic research so much as a lack from those universities of fresh ideas the agency was interested in funding. "A lot of places that are getting mature like computer science departments feel like they have an entitlement, but we don't have any entitlements, we just fund good ideas," said Tether."

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