The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), an agency under the U.S. Department of Defense, is renowned for funding innovative and groundbreaking research and development projects. This article will guide you through the application process, financial requirements, and technical requirements for securing DARPA funding.
The Application Process for DARPA Funding
The application process for DARPA funding is rigorous and competitive. Here are the steps:
- Identify a Relevant DARPA Funding Opportunity: DARPA funds research across a wide range of disciplines. Review the list of active programs on the DARPA website to identify a program which aligns with your research.
- Prepare a Concept Paper: Before submitting a full proposal, it’s recommended to submit a brief concept paper outlining your project. This allows DARPA program managers to provide feedback and indicate whether your project aligns with their objectives.
- Review: DARPA will review your concept paper. If it aligns with their objectives, they may invite you to submit a full proposal.
- Full Proposal: The full proposal will include a Technical Volume and a Business Volume and should detail your project’s objectives, methodology, timeline, and budget. It should also demonstrate your team’s expertise and capability to execute the project.
- Evaluation: DARPA program managers and external peer reviewers will evaluate your proposal based on its scientific and technical merit, potential impact, feasibility, and cost-effectiveness. This process can take several months.
- Negotiation & Award: If your full proposal is successful, DARPA will enter negotiations. During negotiations, DARPA will perform due diligence efforts, audit the budget proposal, and issue a draft contract. You have an opportunity to negotiate the terms and conditions of the award. Once an agreement is reached, the contract will be finalized, and an award will be made.
Financial Requirements for DARPA Funding
DARPA funding is typically awarded as contracts, grants, or cooperative agreements. The financial requirements vary depending on the type of award:
- Contracts: If your project has a specific deliverable that could benefit the Department of Defense, you may be awarded a contract. You’ll need to provide a detailed budget outlining how funds will be used.
- Grants: Grants are typically awarded for basic research. You’ll need to demonstrate that your project has the potential to advance knowledge in your field.
- Cooperative Agreements: These are used when there is substantial involvement between DARPA and the awardee during project performance. The financial requirements are like those for contracts and grants.
Technical Requirements for DARPA
DARPA seeks projects that are innovative, high-risk, and have the potential for high reward. The technical requirements for DARPA funding include:
- Innovation: Your project should propose a novel approach or technology. It should not simply be an incremental improvement on existing technologies.
- Feasibility: You’ll need to demonstrate that your project is technically feasible. This could involve preliminary data, proof-of-concept studies, or detailed theoretical analyses.
- Potential Impact: Your project should have the potential to significantly impact your field or benefit the Department of Defense. You’ll need to clearly articulate this potential impact in your proposal.
- Team Expertise: Your team should have the necessary expertise to execute the project. This includes technical expertise, project management skills, and experience with similar projects.
DARPA Funding Guide Summary
Securing DARPA funding is a significant achievement that can propel your research to new heights. While the application process is challenging, the potential rewards are immense. By understanding the application process, financial requirements, and technical requirements, you’ll be well-prepared to submit a compelling proposal.
If your company has considered applying for DARPA funding, EverGlade Consulting is the right partner to help make that a reality. EverGlade has a full suite of experienced consulting professionals prepared to support your DARPA Funding Application. Our team has helped both large and small companies prepare, submit, and win applications for federal funding.
EverGlade consultants can help develop your business plan, prepare financial projections, and assemble a concise and complete package to take advantage of these unique programs. With a successful history of supporting diverse clients through the application process, our team’s unique understanding of the federal funding landscape will strengthen the chances of your proposal’s success.
For additional information about EverGlade Consulting, visit EverGlade DARPA Funding Consulting