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Fireside Chat with DARPA and Rice University

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Category: Academic Network, Community & Engagement, Community Bubbles, Corporate Innovators, Founders & Startups, Investors & Capital, Networking




March 12, 2024
12:30 pm - 2:00 pm CDT


4201 Main St.
Houston, TX 77002


Join Rice University and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) on March 12th as we proudly welcome Dr. Stefanie Tompkins, Director of DARPA, to the Ion Houston for a presentation and fireside chat. 

Dr. Tompkins will deliver remarks highlighting DARPA’s role in national security, the agency’s major program areas, and how the agency drives pivotal investments in breakthrough technologies.

Director Tompkins remarks will be followed by a fireside chat featuring Rice President Reginald DesRoches, Director Tompkins, and Sha-Chelle Manning, Chief of Commercial Strategy at DARPA. The discussion will be moderated by Paul Cherukuri, Chief Innovation Officer, Rice University—and will offer insights into DARPA’s unique approach to investing to drive transformational change, the future focus and accelerated nature of its work, and the critical role that universities play in building robust innovation ecosystems.

Since 1958, DARPA has held to a singular and enduring mission: to make pivotal investments in breakthrough technologies for national security. As the research and development agency for the U.S. Department of Defense, DARPA explicitly reaches for transformational change instead of incremental advances. It has helped lay the foundations for some of society’s most transformational technologies: the internet, miniaturized GPS, smart phones, mRNA vaccines, stealth, commercial space access, and autonomous vehicles.


12:30 PM - 1:00 PM
Networking & Check-in
1:00 pm - 1:25 pm
Remarks, Dr. Stefanie Tompkins, Director, DARPA
1:25 pm - 2:00 pm
Fireside Chat


Ion District Parking Garage

Enter 4111 Fannin Street into your GPS for directions directly to this parking garage, located a block from the Ion. Parking in the Ion District Garage is free for the first two hours.

Red Parking Lot

Enter 4203 Fannin Street into your GPS for directions directly to the red parking lot, located across the street from the Ion. This lot is for overflow guest parking and tenant parking and is free for the first three hours.

For more information and access to pay online for parking in the red lot, click here.