MITRE employees working in the E building lab

Our Story

We discover. We create. We lead.

MITRE is trusted to leadby government, industry, and academia. 

The bedrock of any trusted relationship is integrity. For more than 65 years, MITRE has proudly operated federally funded research and development centers, or FFRDCs. We now operate six of the 42 FFRDCs in existence—a high honor. 

Since our inception, MITRE has consistently addressed the most complex whole-of-nation challenges that threaten our country’s safety, security, and prosperity. Our mission-driven teams bring technical expertise, objectivity, and an interdisciplinary approach to drive innovation and accelerate solutions in the public interest.

Above all, MITRE is trusted to deliver data-driven results and recommendations without any conflicts of interest.

Forward-Looking from the Start

MITRE began in 1958, sponsored by the U.S. Air Force to bridge across the academic research community and industry to architect the Semi-Automatic Ground Environment, or SAGE, a key component of Cold War-era air defense. We were founded as a not-for-profit company to serve as objective advisers in systems engineering to government agencies, both military and civilian.

We are innovators—from advances in radar technology, cyber, GPS, cancer research, and aviation collision-avoidance systems to breakthroughs in evolving disciplines such as vehicle autonomy, artificial intelligence, and synthetic biology. 

Moreover, as a company that doesn’t compete with industry, we’re uniquely positioned to convene government, industry, and academia to collaborate on big societal challenges, from pandemic response to highway safety to social justice.

At its core, MITRE’s story is about our people. We’re proud that more than 9,000 multi-talented and creative individuals choose to stand with us every day, dedicating themselves to our mission of solving problems for a safer world.

As we look to the future, we anticipate increasingly complex technical problems, more complicated intersections between technology and policy, and higher stakes among global competitors. Our nation and the world will need MITRE more than ever.

Jason Providakes, Ph.D., President and CEO
MITRE Mase vehicle blurred motion side view

Our Impact

Through objective insights, a unique vantage point, and technical know-how, we never stop discovering new and better ways to achieve results in the public interest.

MITRE employee working on a Nibbler drone

Focus Areas

Our work is as diverse as it is significant. MITRE delivers objective insight and an innovative approach to our work with a single mission in mind: solving problems for a safer world.

A Brief History of Our Work

1958

The MITRE Corporation is chartered as a private, not-for-profit company to provide engineering and technical guidance for the United States Air Force. This work served as the foundation for the creation of the first federally funded research and development center (FFRDC) managed by MITRE, sponsored by the Department of Defense.

1959

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) engages MITRE on a project to develop a unified system for managing all air traffic control. The initiative eventually becomes the National Airspace System.

1962

The MITRE Research Program focuses on four key areas: data acquisition, data processing, system sciences, and computer programming. Today, MITRE's independent R&D program supports more than 200 different projects annually, each devoted to expanding scientific and technical knowledge for the public good.

1964

MITRE receives our first patent, for the “Versatile Image Sensor.” It permits information storage on photographic film, instead of more cumbersome data retrieval methods.

1971

MITRE joins the Advanced Research Projects Agency Network (ARPANET), forerunner of the internet.

1973

MITRE is instrumental in the evolution of the AWACS (Airborne Early Warning and Control System) mobile command-and-control airborne platform, serving for many years as the program’s chief engineer.

1975

With MITRE’s support, the FAA launches the second phase of the National Airspace System.

1981

MITRE develops the operational logic for TCAS, a revolutionary collision alert and avoidance system for commercial aircraft.

1985

MITRE becomes the first organization to register the .org domain name.

1990

The Center for Advanced Aviation System Development becomes an FFRDC, formalizing our longstanding partnership with the FAA.

1992

MITRE's Aviation IDEA (Integration Demonstration and Experimentation for Aeronautics) Lab debuts. Since then, the lab has accelerated our ability to explore new technology, procedures, and concepts, improving the efficiency and safety of the National Airspace System.

1995

MITRE begins investigating “Y2K” implications for Defense Department systems, ultimately representing the Cyber Assurance National Information Center on the President’s Council on the Year 2000 Conversion.

1998

The Center for Enterprise Modernization FFRDC, supporting the IRS and other U.S. Treasury agencies, is formed. Ten years later, the Department of Veterans Affairs becomes a co-sponsor.

1999

MITRE and top security organizations create CVE®, the first public dictionary of computer vulnerabilities to boost cyber defense.

2001

Immediately following the September 11 attacks, MITRE employees help rescue efforts for World Trade Center victims through cell phone detection; others assess the damage and stabilize the Pentagon’s communications capacity.

2003

The Department of Health and Human Services commissions MITRE to expand on our foundational work in cybersecurity and enterprise architectures to benefit healthcare systems. 

2005

Using largely commercial-off-the-shelf components, the autonomous MITRE Meteor is one of only 23 entrants (out of more than 150) to make the finals of the DARPA Grand Challenge driverless car competition. 

2008

MITRE receives the Secretary of Defense Medal for Outstanding Service in honor of our 50th anniversary.

2009

The Homeland Security Systems Engineering and Development Institute™, sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security, is founded.

2010

R&D Magazine names our Universal Access Transceiver Beacon Radio to its yearly "R&D 100" list. The portable, battery-powered system provides advanced air traffic awareness for general aviation at much lower cost than equipment in commercial aircraft. 

2012

The Health FFRDC, which supports the Department of Health and Human Services and its agencies, is founded.

2013

MITRE develops ATT&CK®, a freely accessible knowledge base of adversary tactics and techniques based on real-world observations, now used globally.

2014

The National Cybersecurity FFRDC, sponsored by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, is founded.

2015

MITRE manages assessment and reports for VA Choice Act, which improves healthcare access and options for our nation’s veterans.

2019

MITRE and our partners release mCODE™, a core set of elements for capturing data in a standardized format in the electronic record of cancer patients to improve treatment, care coordination, and research efforts.

2020

MITRE is asked to manage the COVID-19 Healthcare Coalition, a private-sector-led response by healthcare organizations, technology firms, nonprofits, academia, and startups to preserve the healthcare delivery system and help protect U.S. populations.

2021

MITRE announces the creation of the BlueTech Lab, a state-of-the-art, all-weather maritime test facility and a national resource for advancing undersea testing, innovation, and collaboration.

2022

MITRE chooses South Australia as home for a first-of-its-kind applied research center for space, defense, and cybersecurity.

2023

MITRE celebrates 65 years of connecting for public good.

OUR PEOPLE  

We are people with passion for our public interest mission who honor purpose as our highest principle.

AMPLIFY YOUR IMPACT FOR PUBLIC GOOD

We’re unified by a shared purpose: solving problems for a safer world.