Former DARPA Director Heading Up New Experimental Technology Department At Google

Remember how earlier this year Regina Dugan, the former director of DARPA, took a job at Google? Now we know what she’s up to there:

Google has also created a department within Motorola—Advanced Technology and Projects—comprised of researchers charged with finding cutting-edge technologies that could give Motorola’s products an edge. And the executive refresh includes a new senior vice president, Regina Dugan, a former director of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the Pentagon’s long-term research arm. […]

But whether the DARPA research model can work in the fast-evolving world of smartphones is unclear, says Chetan Sharma, a wireless analyst in Seattle. “Regina does bring in outside perspective specially related to projects that are leaps, versus incremental steps,” he says. “However, this will need to be executed under the constraints of competition, time, and money.”

While DARPA has had some storied successes—such as the precursor to the Internet—it also freely admits that it often fails. And it has pursued some odd projects, such as setting up a research program to figure out how to reassemble shredded documents.

Technology Review: Can DARPA’s Strategy Help Motorola Compete Again?


  1. Unfortunately, DARPA is much more goal-focused (with the goal being new tech to kill people or support them while doing so) than it used to be. Regina Dugan will probably do fine.

  2. “figure out how to reassemble shredded documents”

    considering DARPA’s mission that’s hardly odd.

    I tend to agree with Peter Thiel – Google is not all that innovative – at least not in a “big innovation” sort of way.

    When they’re sitting on that much cash they can be deemed about as innovative as the big energy companies – throw a little symbolic money at stuff that smart engineers will think is cool in order to attract talent – then put that talent to work exploiting known reserves (in this case search advertising).

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