Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency: Overview and Issues for Congress [Updated August 19, 2021] [open pdf - 1MB]
From the Introduction: "The Department of Defense (DOD) created the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in 1958. 1 Originally called the Advanced Research Projects Agency, DARPA was established partly in response to the launch of the first Sputnik satellite by the former Soviet Union and partly in recognition of the need to invest resources toward promising concepts requiring a longer timeframe for development.2 In 1972, 'defense' was added to the agency's name to emphasize its mission of making 'pivotal investments in breakthrough technologies for national security.' 3 This report provides an overview of DARPA, including the agency's organizational structure, characteristics (i.e., the 'DARPA model'), and strategic priorities. The report also describes funding trends at DARPA and discusses select issues for possible congressional consideration, including the appropriate level of funding for the agency, technology transfer, and the potential role of DARPA in maintaining the technological superiority of the U.S. military."
CRS Report for Congress, R45088
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/