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DARPA Eyes Scope Expansion for Pilot Tech Accelerator Program; Peter Highnam Quoted

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The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is looking to expand a pilot program that connects startups with investors to include other emerging technology areas such as artificial intelligence, National Defense Magazine reported Wednesday.

DARPA’s updated Embedded Entrepreneurship Initiative will fall under In-Q-Tel’s Emerge segment and support a maximum of 150 small businesses and entrepreneurs.

The program initially focused on biotechnology and microelectronics projects and has helped 30 startups raise $110 million since its creation two years ago.

Peter Highnam, deputy director of DARPA, said at a National Defense Industrial Association conference that the Department of Defense (DOD) is expressing concerns over China-linked investors allocating funds to U.S. tech firms to secure their intellectual property for use in military applications.

“DARPA helped to prove out the technology,” he noted. “Do you risk it now to make a business? That’s a very different issue.”

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