Under the new initiative, announced today, CIA officers will be able for the first time to publicly file patents on the intellectual property they work on — and collect a portion of the the profits. The agency will take the rest of the balance. Dawn Meyerriecks, who heads the agency’s science and technology directorate, says the best-case scenario is that the agency’s research and development could end up paying for itself. “This is helping maintain US dominance, particularly from a technological perspective,” says Meyerriecks. “That’s really critical for national and economic security. It also democratizes the technology by making it available to the planet in a way that allows the level of the water to rise for all.”
America’s most famous spy agency has a major competitor it can’t quite seem to beat: Silicon Valley. From a report: The CIA has long been a place cutting-edge technology is researched, developed, and realized — and it wants to lead in fields like artificial intelligence and biotechnology. However, recruiting and retaining the talent capable of building these tools is a challenge on many levels, especially since a spy agency can’t match Silicon Valley salaries, reputations, and patents. The agency’s solution is CIA Labs, a new skunkworks that will attempt to recruit and retain technical talent by offering incentives to those who work there.