LINC crowdsources challenges like tunnel detection

DOD looks to crowdsource solutions to operational problems

Nobody wants to reinvent the wheel, but when there’s no way to tap into the right knowledge base for the answer, time and effort inevitably are wasted on problems that may already have been solved.  Crowdsourcing has been one response to such challenges, and now the Defense Department is trying that approach to speed solutions to those combatting terrorism.

Operating like most open-innovation or crowdsourcing models, the Laboratory Innovation Crowdsourcing portal allows field operators to pose operational challenges to solvers across the federal government.   The Combating Terrorism Technical Support Office, which launched LINC Oct. 8, will take the submitted challenges and pass them to government labs for solutions.  When a solution has been identified, CTTSO and solution seekers select the optimal solution, and the solvers are recognized for their contributions.

Currently, CTTSO has launched three challenges:

  1. An algorithm to identify material mixtures from raman spectra
  2. Detection of underground voids and tactical tunnels
  3. Countering violent extremism

The last piece of a project is, of course, the crowd, which CTTSO says will ultimately come from the entire federal government and contractor community.

CTTSO is described as a “DOD-hosted,” interagency-focused office that develops solutions in combating terrorism for the Armed forces as well as federal, state and local partners. 

About the Author

Mark Pomerleau is a former editorial fellow with GCN and Defense Systems.

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