A prototype of a driverless car  in a photograph provided by Google. Yet much of the research to get us to the cusp of driverless cars has been carried out over the past 20 years with state support, in particularby  the US government-funded Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency

From Thomas Edison to Steve Jobs and through to Elon Musk, society likes to attribute the big tech breakthroughs to a single individual. The latest s(...)

People touch Project Jacquard fabric to control lights or computer screens at Google’s annual developers conference in San Francisco. Photograph: Glenn Chapman/AFP/Getty Images

If you thought it was only a matter of time before Google tried to turn your pants into a computer, well, guess what? you were right. Last Frid(...)

The US Defense Department  accidentally sent shipments of live anthrax bacteria from the Dugway Proving ground facility (above) to labs in nine US states and to a US air base in South Korea. Photograph: George Frey/Epa

The US military mistakenly sent live anthrax bacteria to laboratories in nine US states and a US air base in South Korea, after apparently failing to (...)

The driverless Lutz Pathfinder pod vehicle. The technology has become something of a trend among Silicon Valley heavyweights. Photograph: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

With trials of driverless cars coming to several British cities, the UK has joined the autonomous driving revolution alongside technology giants like (...)

A US stealth bomber approaches for mid-air refuelling: stealth aircraft are one of the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s biggest success stories. Photograph: Reuters/Hyungwon Kang

The US government’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa) is involved in many different areas because the creation and prevention of strat(...)

What if it isn’t too late to start from scratch? It was only about 40 years ago that Vinton G Cerf and Robert E Kahn holed up in the conference room o(...)

Tough climb: at the University of Texas, Austin the focus is very much on the protection of intellectual property generated at the university and on trying to commercialise it in a multitude of ways. Going to court to protect ownership of IP is a natural part of that process

Overcoming red tape. Low returns on state investment. Conflicts of interest between industry and academia. Sound familiar? Approximately 5 per cent of(...)

The Slovakian Aeromobil 2.5 prototype  has had about 40 hours of flight testing and resembles a supercar with considerable flight capabilities

A number of us can thank a cartoon character from the future, George Jetson, for instilling our longing. Students of aviation history might look fo(...)

Rally Fighter: Local Motors first car, it  was built and funded by a co-creation community of enthusiasts, hobbyists, innovators and professionals.

John “Jay” Rogers jnr leans against a wall in a corridor in the bowels of the Lincoln centre in New York. He has just delivered a speech to a room ful(...)

Growth of output per head determines living standards. Innovation determines the growth of output per head. But what determines innovation?Conventiona(...)