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CHIPS Articles: NGA awards $50K to disparate data challenge winners

NGA awards $50K to disparate data challenge winners
By National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency News - November 8, 2016
SPRINGFIELD, Va. — The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency awarded three companies a total of $50,000 in cash awards Oct. 21 for their solutions in making data discoverable geospatially, as part of the agency’s disparate data challenge.

The grand prize winner, Diffeo, received $25,000 for their solution that mixed big data search and discovery with useful tools for analysts, easily usable with common software integrations. Second place finisher Voyager Search and third place finisher Keeper Technologies received $15,000 and $10,000 respectively for their innovative solutions that are currently in use globally.

“This challenge requires breaking the molds of traditional problem solving,” said U.S. Air Force Col. Marc DiPaolo, chief of mainstreaming capabilities in the NGA enterprise innovation office.

The disparate data challenge encompassed two phases. Phase 1, completed in September, asked participants to implement functioning capabilities that could demonstrate access and approvals to analyze representative datasets. Fifteen winners were selected in phase 1, with each receiving $10,000 for their submissions.

Each winner was then invited to participate in phase 2 of the challenge, a “Dem-o-thon” in the Washington D.C. area. Participants presented focused white papers and videos, and ultimately a live demonstration of their solutions in front of a panel of judges.

“This challenge is about more than disparate data, it’s about working with businesses and individuals we haven’t traditionally partnered with,” said DiPaolo. “Engaging non-traditional partners in this challenge has exposed us to new ideas and approaches we haven’t seen before.”

Future NGA challenges will be accessible through challenge.gov.

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