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  • Writer's pictureRon Ben Tsvi

DARPA's AI Next Campaign: $2B in AI Research Grants

DARPA just committed $2 Billion for companies and academic institutions for AI research. The money will allow techies to explore new theories and applications that could make it possible for machines to adapt to changing situations in what DARPA refers to as the "Third Wave of AI."

Investing in AI is certainly not new to DARPA. DARPA has spent a good chunk of the past 50 years investing in AI related research categorizing the First Wave as addressing rule based AI tech, the second wave addressing statistical learning, and the third wave addressing contextual adaptation, or the limitations of waves one and two.

DARPA's Perspective on AI

Different grant mechanisms such as small business innovation grants (SBIR), small business technology transfer Research (STTR), as well as broad agency announcements (BAA's) will be used in order to distribute the $2 Billion available for funding. Award amounts range from $150,000 to $3,000,000.

A key component of the campaign is DARPA's Artificial Intelligence Exploration (AIE) program announced July this year. AIE will be investing in high-risk projects granting projects up to $1,000,000 each over a period of 18-months.

"AIE" Areas of Interest

  • Improving the robustness and reliability of AI systems

  • Enhancing the security and resiliency of machine learning and AI technologies

  • Reducing power, data, and performance inefficiencies

  • Pioneering the next generation of AI algorithms and applications, such as “explainability” and common sense reasoning

  • Automating critical DoD business processes, such as security clearance vetting or accrediting software systems for operational deployment

DARPA's Not the Only Ones Interested in AI

While DARPA is one of the main agencies funding AI research, they certainly are not the only. Other agencies such as the NSF, NASA, DoE and the other branches of the DoD (Army, Navy, Air Force etc.) invest heavily in AI research as well.

Making grants work for your business

Non-dilutive funding is at once a tremendous opportunity and, at the same time, a tremendous challenge. With so many opportunities and with so many competitors, a long term strategy is a must in order to maximize your chance to receive federal grants. Equally important to knowing which opportunities are right for you is avoiding those which are not. With a long term and strategic outlook federal grants can fuel your R&D efforts and enable your company to thrive.

For more on this opportunity please watch the webinar:


About Eagle Point Funding

We are the premier consulting firm specializing in non-dilutive funding sources for energy, defense, cyber security, and materials research. We assist companies, academic institutions, and non-profit research entities to identify, win federal R&D grants and maximize their R&D funding. Schedule a Free Consult


Josh Bar-on

Dir. of Bizdev

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