Google aims to outthink Apple with new DARPA-like research team

Motorola Advanced Technology And Projects

Google (GOOG) on Monday stated in a regulatory filing that it will be cutting approximately 20% of Motorola Mobility’s workforce, eliminating 4,000 jobs and closing about one-third of Motorola’s offices around the world. It’s tough news for Motorola workers, but it came alongside the formation of a new division within Motorola that may help create a brighter future for the struggling smartphone maker.

Motorola’s new Advanced Technology and Projects department was created as an advanced research and development arm that will help Motorola identify and develop cutting-edge technologies, Technology Review reports. Google also announced that it is makes big changes to Motorola’s management, and former Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency director Regina Dugan is among the new senior vice presidents installed by Google.

The former DARPA boss could have a huge impact at Motorola, employing experience gained while leading the Pentagon research team to help steer Motorola toward innovation that might help its products better compete with the likes of Apple’s (AAPL) iPhone and Samsung’s (005930) Galaxy devices.

“Regina does bring in outside perspective specially related to projects that are leaps, versus incremental steps,” Seattle-based wireless analyst Chetan Sharma told Technology Review. “However, this will need to be executed under the constraints of competition, time, and money.”

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