The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) is charged with developing groundbreaking technologies for the U.S. Intelligence Community. The new agency is temporarily located in the University of Maryland's Center for Advanced Study of Languages, the nation's largest foreign language laboratory and an early M-Square tenant.
"The University of Maryland is excited to play a role in the creation of IARPA," says University of Maryland President C. Dan Mote, Jr. "IARPA opens a new chapter in the nation's capacity to address its security challenges, both those that are known today and those that are sure to come. The University's education and research programs will serve IARPA extremely well."
IARPA consolidates the National Security Agency's Disruptive Technology Office (previously called the Advanced Research and Development Activity); the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency's National Technology Alliance; and the Central Intelligence Agency's Intelligence Technology Innovation Center.
The Maryland congressional delegation, led by Senator Barbara Mikulski, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger, announced the decision. As members of the Senate and House Select Committees on Intelligence, Mikulski and Ruppersberger, along with Hoyer, have worked for months to secure a permanent home for IARPA in Maryland.
"IARPA represents a revolutionary effort to enhance our intelligence capabilities through new technologies," said Congressman Hoyer. "The decision to headquarter IARPA at the University of Maryland speaks volumes about the quality of this world-class institution and its placement at the forefront of groundbreaking technological research."
The project will bring together government, academia and the private sector - creating jobs and developing technology to improve our national and economic security, added Senator Mikulski.
"Our intelligence community is facing new threats and new challenges everyday. IARPA develops the new technologies to keep us safe at home and abroad," Mikulski said. "I can think of no better place than the University of Maryland for IARPA's headquarters. Its innovative academic research, world-class facilities and proximity to federal intelligence agencies make it an excellent choice. I will continue to fight to make sure we are making the right investments to develop the new ideas that will protect us."
As chair of the House Technical and Tactical Intelligence Subcommittee, Congressman Ruppersberger stressed the need to develop new tools for the Intelligence Community. "In order to stay a step ahead of the enemy, we must ensure our intelligence workers have access to the latest in technology and innovation. IARPA will help us to do that," he said. "This is great news for Maryland and shows that the University of Maryland will continue to be a center for technology and innovation that will keep our country safe."
University officials expect the new facility will serve as a magnet, continuing to attract to M-Square a range of public and private organizations that want to be close to IARPA and the University because of the opportunities for collaboration.
M-Square is a dynamic location for science and technology companies, and is already a focus for national security-related research. Adjacent to the University of Maryland, ranked among the nation's top 20 public research universities, and located just 8 miles from the nation's capital, M-Square is also home to the National Foreign Language Center; NOAA National Weather and Environmental Prediction Centers; the FDA Center for Food Safety; the Maryland Center for Food, Nutrition, and Agricultural Policy; and the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
At full capacity, M-Square will be Maryland's and the Washington region's largest university research park, with over 2 million square feet of facilities.
December 12, 2007