Crowdsourcing new innovative defence technologies

In a UK first, the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) has announced that it is working with Kaggle, the world’s largest data science competition community.

The partnership plans to source innovative solutions to help intelligence analysts evaluate information more quickly, accurately and effectively. The competition, with a prize fund of US$100,000, is seeking to identify novel methods to evaluate large, complex data sets.

Developing an algorithm or software

Dstl has challenged users to develop an algorithm or software that will automatically detect and identify objects in satellite images. The challenge is to correctly identify and categorise up to 10 features and objects, such as cars, trees, and buildings in a variety of environments.  The project has the potential to identify solutions which will greatly improve satellite intelligence gathering and analysis capability.

“The UK must innovate to stay ahead, while developing the ability to harness entrepreneurship quickly and affordably wherever it emerges,” says Harriet Baldwin, Minister for Defence Procurement. “This kind of joint crowdsourcing project is precisely what the Ministry of Defence’s new Innovation Initiative aims to encourage: strengthening and streamlining collaboration with both new and established partners.”

Competition entries and deadlines

Entries will be submitted online and will be scored immediately. The results will be summarised on a live leaderboard. The best three entries will receive a share of the $100,000 prize fund. The first prize is $50,000, the second $30,000 and third $20,000. The competition will run until 28 February and the winner will be announced on 8 March 2017.

Further details, including the full terms and conditions can be found here.


Edited from press release by Jordan Platt.