Who We Are
Throughout its lifetime, the CIA has operated at the cutting edge of science and technology. From the U-2 spy plane to the CORONA satellite, CIA's "wizards of Langley" earned a reputation for bold innovation and risk taking, working in advance of the private sector and other branches of government. Much of CIA's technology success was a result of identifying gaps and opportunities.
By the late 1990s, the pace of commercial innovation had overtaken the ability of government agencies to develop and incorporate new technologies. Private industry represented technical insights and innovation far too important to ignore. Driven by private sector R&D investment, these commercial technologies addressed many of the same information technology, biotechnology, communications, and energy challenges that faced the Intelligence Community.
In 1998, CIA identified technology as a top strategic priority, and set out a radical plan to create a new venture that would help increase the Agency's access to private sector innovation. In-Q-Tel was chartered in February 1999 by a group of private citizens at the request of the Director of Central Intelligence and with the support of the U.S. Congress. IQT was tasked with building a bridge between the Agency and a new set of technology innovators.
Learn more about the history of In-Q-Tel:
- Case Study: In-Q-Tel
by Josh Lerner, Felda Hardymon, Kevin Book, Ann Leamon
February 12, 2004
Source—Harvard Business School
- Accelerating the Acquisition and Implementation of New Technologies for Intelligence: The Report of the Independent Panel on the CIA In-Q-Tel Venture
Source—Business Executives for National Security
- In-Q-Tel: A New Partnership Between the CIA and the Private Sector
by Rick E. Yannuzzi
Source—Defense Intelligence Journal
- Remarks by Director David H. Petraeus at In-Q-Tel CEO Summit
March 1, 2012