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DARPA Deputy Chief Peter Highnam to Set for UK Research Agency CEO Role

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Peter Highnam, deputy director of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, is set to leave the U.S. on May 3 for the U.K. to lead Britain’s new inventions organization.

Highnam will serve as the inaugural CEO of the Advanced Research and Invention Agency, which is tasked to invest in high-risk innovation and discovery projects to benefit the U.K., the Department of Defense said Wednesday.

The U.K.-born official brings to the British agency experience holding leadership positions at DARPA, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency and Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Agency, as well as working with the Department of Health and Human Services.

“His appointment as CEO from DARPA is emblematic of the strong partnership between our two countries, and I look forward to a long and fruitful collaboration with ARIA,” noted Heidi Shyu, DOD undersecretary for research and engineering and a previous Wash100 Award recipient.

Partly modeled from DARPA, ARIA is funded using over $1 billion in investments from the U.K. government, according to a report.