CBP Partners with DHS S&T and Tech Start-up to Enhance Global Travel Assessment System

Cambridge start-up receives contract to improve advanced passenger data screening and targeting technology

WASHINGTON – The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) announced today a $162,302 award to Tamr to build additional capability into U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) Global Travel Assessment System (GTAS). Tamr is a Cambridge, Massachusetts-based startup with expertise in large-scale data analytics and machine learning algorithms.

The company becomes the sixth to join the DHS Silicon Valley Innovation Program (SVIP) portfolio under the Other Transaction Solicitation (OTS). The program was designed to engage non-traditional performers to develop solutions for some of the toughest threats facing homeland security. The award was made under the SVIP call to advance passenger data screening and targeting technology in support of the CBP mission.

“CBP’s mission is to facilitate lawful travel to the United States while maintaining border security in the face of ever-changing public health, terrorist, and other threats,” said CBP Deputy Commissioner Kevin K. McAleenan. “CBP is excited to work with start-ups to develop capabilities that can improve international border security and enhance the international travel experience.”

GTAS is an open source project that provides foreign nation-states and border security entities the capacity to collect, process, query and construct risk criteria against standardized air traveler information. As part of the SVIP, S&T and CBP sought novel approaches and software improvements to advance the GTAS project, particularly solutions to enhance the project’s existing core features in the areas of Visualization, Predictive Models and Entity Resolution. Tamr’s approach for this project is to use their core human-guided, machine learning software to achieve schema mapping and entity resolution.

“Strong data analytics are the backbone to seamless security,” said DHS Under Secretary for Science and Technology Dr. Reginald Brothers. “Joining forces to educate the nation’s innovators on our problem sets has helped the Department access operational solutions that were once difficult to reach.”