As a not-for-profit corporation that manages federally funded research and development centers for the government, MITRE is an ideal organization to host challenges. We do not market or manufacture goods and have no financial investment in the results. Our goal is to work with industry, academia, and government to find solutions that benefit all stakeholders and provide our federal sponsors with the capabilities they need to be successful in their missions.
Working across a wide range of government agencies gives MITRE a broad view into the challenges these agencies face, including the challenges that agencies share. We select our Challenge topics on the basis of this knowledge, looking for gaps that need to be filled.
Winners of the MITRE Challenge will not only receive a financial prize but also the opportunity to demonstrate their newly developed capabilities to a variety of federal agencies. If appropriate, MITRE will help participants with outreach and licensing of their new technologies to government and industry.
MITRE issued our first challenge in 2011 on multicultural name matching—a key technology component of identity matching that measures the similarity of database records that refer to people. Individuals and organizations from multiple countries took part in the competition. The technologies developed during this challenge have helped verify eligibility for Social Security and medical benefits, identify and reunify families in disaster-relief operations, compare identities against a travel watch list, and identify duplicate records in databases.