Defense Sciences Office (DSO) Office-wide BAA -- HR001123S0053

Funding Agency:
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency

The mission of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Defense Sciences Office (DSO) is to identify and create the next generation of scientific discovery to fuel innovation throughout the Agency and beyond. DSO serves as “DARPA’s DARPA” by developing and executing an aggressive and forward leaning portfolio that expands the art of the possible across a broad set of technical areas. DSO aims to create strategic surprise advantage for the DoD by pushing science towards its fundamental limits. We look to prevent technological surprise by understanding the path commercial research and development (R&D) is taking, anticipating that our adversaries will exploit available technology to develop new capabilities in the coming decades. In addition, the office looks for changes at the global scale and the impact such changes may have on our nation.

In support of this mission, the DSO Office-wide BAA invites proposers to submit innovative basic or applied research concepts or studies and analysis proposals that address one or more of the following technical thrust areas: (1) Novel Materials & Structures, (2) Sensing & Measurement, (3) Computation & Processing, (4) Enabling Operations, (5) Collective Intelligence, and (6) Emerging Threats. Each of these thrust areas is described below and includes a list of example research topics that highlight several (but not all) potential areas of interest. Proposals must investigate innovative approaches that enable revolutionary advances. DSO is explicitly not interested in approaches or technologies that primarily result in evolutionary improvements to the existing state of practice.

Executive Summaries may be submitted on a rolling basis until September 26, 2024, at 4:00 p.m.


Agency Website

Areas of Interest

To support its mission, DSO is interested in engaging with the R&D community to tackle complex challenges and develop impactful capabilities. DSO frames its office according to the thrust areas described further below, but encourages any fundamental research concept, idea, or effort that addresses DARPA’s mission to make pivotal investments in breakthrough technologies for national security.

Novel Materials & Structures: This thrust includes, but is not limited to, science and technology in quantum devices, atomic scale systems, and functional and structural materials.

Sensing & Measurement: This thrust includes, but is not limited to, science and technology in quantum sensing and metrology, seeing (sensing) the unseen, and novel light sources.

Computation & Processing: This thrust includes, but is not limited to, science and technology of quantum computing, cryptography, and modeling of complex systems.

Enabling Operations: This thrust includes, but is not limited to, technologies to support space-based operations, tactically remote environments, and resource assurance.

Collective Intelligence: This thrust includes, but is not limited to, exploration of complex social systems, adaptable Artificial Intelligence (AI), and AI-accelerated learning.

Emerging Threats: This thrust includes, but is not limited to, national security concerns related to global issues associated with raw material availability, environmental catastrophes, and digital societies.

Amount Description

DARPA anticipates multiple awards. The level of funding for individual awards made under this BAA will depend on the quality of the proposals received and the availability of funds. Awards will be made to proposers whose proposals are determined to be the most advantageous to the Government, all evaluation factors considered. See Section V for further information.

Funding Type





Engineering and Physical Sciences
Social Sciences

External Deadline

September 26, 2024