MITRE Taps Boston Innovation to Tackle National Challenges

The MITRE Corporation,
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Betsy Yates
Media & Community Relations Lead (781) 271-4894

Bedford, Mass.–January 13, 2015 – As the operator of seven FFRDCs (federally-funded research and development centers), The MITRE Corporation is looking to local innovators to help solve our sponsors' hardest problems.

MITRE employees serve as mentors in the MassChallenge accelerator program to identify talent, technology and ideas in the research and development of systematic solutions for the federal government in areas of defense and intelligence, aviation, civil systems, homeland security, the judiciary, healthcare, and cybersecurity.

Through mentoring local startups, MITRE aims to help young companies create commercially available products to be available and affordable to the government. An added benefit to mentoring is giving back to the communities in which MITRE lives through job creation.

Recently, MITRE explored several unique phased array antenna concepts for a government sponsor who wishes to replace gimbal-based reflector dish antennas with a single, low-profile, wideband electronically scanned antennas. Through MassChallenge, MITRE engineers and researchers connected with Voxel8, a startup that developed the world’s first multi-material 3D electronics printer capable of printing embedded electronics and other novel devices. Voxel8 won $50K in cash awards in the 2014 MassChallenge.

Prior to identifying Voxel8's technology, MITRE was unable to build the novel phased array structure for the sponsor using existing manufacturing methods.

"When I saw what Voxel8 could do, I was hopeful that their technology could be the solution to our problem – that we could realize the new phased array antenna using Voxel8's 3D printer," said Jamie Hood, a mechanical engineer in MITRE's Mechanical & Reliability Engineering Department.

Since then, MITRE built a relationship with the Voxel8 team that includes plans to prototype an antenna this spring, Hood said.

"The capabilities Voxel8 provides are nonexistent on the market today. Without access to local innovation through involvement in MassChallenge, we would still be searching for a solution to realize our design," she said.

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About Voxel8
Voxel8, a Somerville, MA, company, exists to disrupt the design and manufacturing of functional parts by providing new materials, 3D printing platforms, and software. Voxel8 allows designers and engineers to print their imagination via multi-material 3D printing. Leveraging over a decade of research from Harvard Professor Jennifer A. Lewis, Voxel8 is creating the enabling technology required to directly print functional parts, including 3D electronics.

About The MITRE Corporation
The MITRE Corporation is a not-for-profit organization that operates research and development centers sponsored by the federal government. Learn more about MITRE.