DARPA Harnessing the Power of Social Media for Research

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) recently launched Polyplexus, a social media platform to help speed the pace of U.S. technology development. Launched as a public platform, Polyplexus aims to provide increased access to scientific evidence, and “accelerate hypothesis development, research proposal generation, and research sponsor engagement.”

DARPA is seeking input from those who may be interested in sharing and learning about emerging science and various technologies. The platform provides a public information feed for users where they can provide or promote research and connect it to other research through short summary statements called micropubs. There’s a private tool for these micropubs that can be used for synthesizing new ideas call micropub portfolios, and also an incubator environment included.

“Crowdsourcing on the internet works when the solution exists and can be found,” said DARPA Defense Sciences Office Program Manager John Main. He added that Polyplexus is a productivity platform rather than a crowdsourcing one because solutions may not yet exist to conduct research and development on problems that need to be solved.

DARPA is encouraging retired scientists, engineers, and researchers to engage with the platform, though anyone can create an account and contribute to the site. DARPA’s Defense Sciences Office plans to fund up to 30 one-year seedling efforts over the next 18 months and will cap the funding at $100,000 each.

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