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CIA Director Gina Haspel. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

In a bid to attract and retain top tech talent, the CIA has announced the formation of CIA Labs, a new venture designed to encourage innovation in "artificial intelligence, data analytics, biotechnology, advanced materials, and high-performance quantum computing,” among other areas, per MIT Technology Review.

How it works: Formed in part because of concerns over a talent drain to the private sector in Silicon Valley, CIA Labs will allow employees to patent their own inventions and keep 15% of the proceeds derived from them, with a maximum salary bump of $150,000 per annum.

  • The new initiative will seek to actively partner with academia and other members of the roughly 300 extant federal research laboratories.

Zoom in: The agency is particularly interested in big data technology that can process information in the field, Dawn Meyerriecks, head of the CIA’s Directorate of Science and Technology, told MIT Technology Review’s Patrick Howell O’Neill.

  • “Militaries and intelligence agencies around the world deal in a multitude of sensors like, for instance, the kind of tech found on drones,” O’Neill writes.
  • “The CIA’s own sensors suck up incalculable mountains of data per second, [Meyerriecks] says. Officers badly want to develop massive computational power in a relatively small, low-power sensor so the sorting can be done quickly on the device instead of being sent back to a central system.”

The big picture: CIA Labs joins a constellation of agency-affiliated entities devoted to technological innovation in the service of national security, including the CIA’s Directorate of Science and Technology and In-Q-Tel, the agency’s venture capital firm, which is based in Virginia and Silicon Valley.

Go deeper

The great power shift

Elon Musk at the Axel Springer Awards on Dec. 1 in Berlin. Photo: Britta Pedersen-Pool/Getty Images

America’s entrepreneurial and technology power is dispersing beyond Silicon Valley and New York — a trend greatly accelerated by two Cs: coronavirus and California.

The big picture: Elon Musk is the latest high-profile business leader to bolt from California because of its governance and cost.

Dave Lawler, author of World
22 mins ago - World

Globetrotting climate envoy Kerry makes Biden team’s first visit to China

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

John Kerry became the first senior Biden administration official to touch down in China this week. He's also been the first to sit down with a string of world leaders.

Why it matters: Kerry may no longer be secretary of state, but you'd be forgiven for thinking otherwise after a glance at his calendar. The unusual role could make Kerry a foreign policy force multiplier for President Biden, or potentially a source of mixed messages.

Chicago releases video of fatal police shooting of 13-year-old boy

A small memorial is seen on April 15 in Chicago where 13-year-old Adam Toledo was shot and killed by a police officer in March. Photo: Kamil Krzaczynski/Getty Images

Chicago's independent police review board on Thursday released the body camera footage of an officer's fatal shooting of 13-year-old Adam Toledo on March 29.

The big picture: Tension continues to rise nationwide in response to police misconduct and racism. Thursday's footage release comes days after officer Kim Potter fatally shot Daunte Wright in a traffic stop near Minneapolis, where the trial of Derek Chauvin, a former police officer accused of murdering George Floyd, is ongoing.