The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity plans to launch new research programs in 2018 to mitigate threats associated with biological weapons, FCW reported Friday.
IARPA Director Jason Matheny told FCW in an interview that advances in biotechnology present growth opportunities for medicine, agriculture, energy and materials, but could also lead to the creation of weapons of mass destruction.
The agency will conduct the Finding Engineering-Linked Indicators program, or FELIX, to help build tools that could detect whether an organism has been engineered for use in bioweapons.
IARPA will also carry out the Ithildin program, which seeks to develop a mechanism to detect the presence of harmful chemicals at minuscule levels.
Matheny noted that other IARPA initiatives will work to optimize encryption; build superconducting computers for hardware security; and support the use of proteins to identify individuals for law enforcement purposes.