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CIA Lab to Get Own Patents, Licenses for New Technologies, Says IT Head

Dawn Meyerriecks

Director

CIA

CIA Lab to Get Own Patents, Licenses for New Technologies, Says IT Head

The Central Intelligence Agency has launched its first federal lab that will allow officers to acquire patents and licenses for intellectual property they develop at the agency. 

Dawn Meyerriecks, head of CIA’s Directorate of Science and Technology, said the CIA Federal Lab will be an in-house R&D office where the spy agency will design the latest technology needed for intelligence gathering for national and economic security, C4ISR said Tuesday. 

In a speech at the Intelligence and National Security Summit held on Sept. 13 and 14, she enumerated the broad areas where the agency has intellectual property that may “change the conversation” around vital next-generation technologies.

The list she considered as areas of focus includes 5G, battery technology, augmented and virtual reality, artificial intelligence and machine learning, computation, geospatial information representation, navigation, and analytics.

Meyerriecks noted that the extensive list is something that the agency owns and the world needs for safety and security. “And if your attitude is ‘I will get this to production and then I will wait for the next procurement opportunity,’ then we are collectively part of the problem, not part of the solution,” she said. 

She added that the agency has already obtained two provisional patents to date, but did not elaborate. 

The CIA created the lab to recognize the entrepreneurs and researchers inside the agency, an area not covered by the intelligence community’s other innovation and advanced research hubs, In-Q-Tel and the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity.

In addition, the federal lab designation will allow the agency to build up its connections to academia, industry and the 300 federal labs in the U.S. The agency said the labs will also be opened for internships and externships for officers. The centers will provide career incentives at the agency since the investors can receive license revenue from users outside the agency.

Meyerriecks said that over the years, innovations were made in the CIA and with the lab, the organization is in a better position to take advantage of the technological developments and invest more in its scientists and technologists. 

“In an evolving threat landscape, CIA Labs will help us maintain our competitive edge and protect our nation,”  she said.

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