• Saratoga Business Report
Monday, 30 August 2021 12:41

Kitware Software Helps Researchers Understand the Human Brain Featured

Written by Jaynie Ellis
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CLIFTON PARK – Kitware, a locally based company working on software solutions to scientific problems, is tackling the biggest challenge of them all – understanding the human brain. 

Kitware has won a $1.3 million grant from the National Institute of Health’s BRAIN Initiative. The BRAIN Initiative aims to increase the understanding of the human brain through advanced imaging to better treat, cure, and prevent brain disorders. With the funds from the grant, Kitware is developing a tool that uses AI to help researchers analyze images of neuron connectivity over time. These images of the brain are 5,000 times the size of a typical MRI.  

Their next project will be with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Invisible Headlights Program, where they will collaborate with Spectrum Photonics and the University of Hawaii to develop passive 3D sensors for stealthy, nighttime autonomous vehicles. 

Headquartered in Clifton Park, Kitware also has U.S. offices in Carrboro, NC; Arlington, VA; Santa Fe, NM; and has most recently expanded to Minneapolis, MN. Last year they transitioned to a 100% employee-owned company.

“Our work is valuable to our community because we are creating tools for researchers to use,” said Lisa Avila, CEO of Kitware, Inc. “We have an open IP philosophy at Kitware. We give away what we do for others to build upon; our software is open source, and we publish our research in academic journals.” 

Kitware is a contract software company that works primarily with government agencies. Kitware has also helped wildlife researchers with video feed algorithms to track and count oceanic wildlife, and they have investigated using ultrasound, a relatively low-cost technology, to solve healthcare challenges in rural areas and to quickly assess trauma victims. Currently, they have about 150 projects in the works.

“We have a collection of researchers and developers with diverse expertise at the company that are already looking at the next generation of problems,” said Avila. 

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