DARPA launches new program to let small innovators behind the classified curtain

For a lot of would-be defense contractors, the world of classified contracts is a bit of a Catch-22. You can’t get classified work without a security clearance, and you can’t get a security clearance without a contract that demands classified work. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is looking to solve that problem with a new initiative it calls “BRIDGES.” The basic idea is to give small firms a chance to show they’ve got the technical acumen or creativity to solve the sorts of problems DARPA’s working on in the classified arena. If it looks like the answer is yes, the agency itself will sponsor them for a security clearance.