Adam Marblestone Bio and Summary


I am working to roadmap and launch science and technology moonshot projects that call for novel organizational and funding models. I am a Schmidt Futures Innovation Fellow and affiliated with the Federation of American Scientists (FAS). Previously, I was a research scientist at Google DeepMind studying connections between AI and neuroscience, Chief Strategy Officer of the brain-computer interface company Kernel, a research scientist in Ed Boyden’s Synthetic Neurobiology Group at MIT working to develop new technologies for brain circuit mapping, a PhD student in biophysics with George Church and colleagues at Harvard, and a theoretical physics student with Michel Devoret at Yale working on quantum information theory. My work has been recognized with a Technology Review 35 Innovators Under 35 Award (2018), a Fannie and John Hertz Foundation Fellowship (2010) and a Goldwater Scholarship (2008). I have also helped to start companies like BioBright, and advised foundations such as the Open Philanthropy Project. {mit page}

Benjamin Reinhardt Bio and Summary


I’m working on how to enable more amazing sci-fi things to become reality.  I also host the Idea Machines Podcast where I have long form conversations with experts in different innovation systems.  In the past I was an EIR at Entrepreneur First in Singapore where I helped ambitious people build teams and companies. Before that I was a different kind of EIR Susa Ventures and tried to use robots to help older adults stay at home longer. Deeper in the past, I taught computers to understand the world at Magic Leap. I used to build tractor beams for space robotics at Cornell. I’ve, been a plumber, an archer, a waiter, a nazgul, and an oregano salesman. I’m one of the few people in the world with a Bachelor of Science in History. {personal website}


Presentation: FRO & PARPA: Innovating in Scientific Innovation

  • Focused Research Organizations (FROs) are being spearheaded by Convergent Research.  These organizations are targeted research groups that exist outside of academia.
  • Private Advanced Research Project Agency (PARPA) is a concept of taking the ARPA model and applying it to a specific subcategory of projects that falls between the cracks of other organizations.
  • The research models now would not allow things like the transistor to be invented, it required too much cross collaboration which is not incentivized correctly today.
  • FROs are low-overhead timebound projects aimed at coordinating several groups to work together with funding to focus on specific problems.
  • PARPA can bring together nanotech groups to combine various molecular machines into larger coherent structures.  One example of a higher order structure is an artificial ribosome.  Going further, generalizing the mechanical concepts of the ribosome leads us to a molecular 3d printer.
  • Tunable wood is an interesting application
  • There is a FRO inspired project being launched on longevity called Rejuvenome, in collaboration with Astera and the Buck Institute.  It is looking at whole body interventions for aging.
  • In terms of motivating people, more money isn’t always the primary goal.
  • Roadmaps and workshops are going to be useful tools for collaboration, both for PARPA and FRO structures.  Coordination among various disparate research groups is an important factor for success.
  • Competitive pressure may be useful for driving progress.