Research (was: The economy and Dean)

Gregory Alan Bolcer gbolcer at
Fri Sep 12 10:52:24 PDT 2003

DARPA is responsible for funding "moonshots"; the
time horizon for commercial success of any DARPA funded
project is about 15 years.   There's plenty of historical
studies about a 3-6 year DARPA funding leaving a 6-9 year
gap in commercial viability of technologies.   Dollar for
dollar, I think that the DARPA funding is directly or
indirectly responsible for 2-3 Trillion dollars of economic
benefit to the US economy.   It's easy to pick off
a few beltway bandits or unsuccessful projects as
counter-success examples as it's really only the
top 20%, 10%, 3% funded projects that are the most successful.

This is no different than the VC community except the time
horizon is different.


James Rogers wrote:
> In part because they don't need to; I think you are reversing causality.  In
> areas where the government doesn't fund direct research, private sources seem to
> do just fine.  And I know from personal experience that for some areas of
> research, the government grants are funding research that would have happened
> anyway, but since the money is there people take it.
> Another issue related to the above is the fact that the government is involved
> in picking research winners and losers and lending validity somewhat
> irrespective of the merits of individual fields.  The research market really
> doesn't need political manipulation of funding that changes with the political
> tides.
Gregory Alan Bolcer, CTO  | work: +1.949.833.2800
gbolcer at  |
Endeavors Technology, Inc.| cell: +1.714.928.5476

More information about the FoRK mailing list