Kitware Inc. is a software research and development company. Our core areas of expertise are computer vision, data and analytics, scientific computing, medical computing, and software process. Our customers range from startups to Fortune 500 companies and include government and academic laboratories worldwide. We have grown to over 150 employees, with offices in Clifton Park, New York; Arlington, Virginia; Carrboro, North Carolina; Santa Fe, New Mexico; and Lyon, France.
Since our founding in 1998, Kitware has built our business on open source software. We have established a strong reputation by partnering with leading organizations to create and support large, collaborative, and open communities that use and improve our open source software platforms. These platforms enable us to focus on innovation and deliver tailored solutions to our customers that are cost-effective, without vendor lock-in, and with our customers maintaining full ownership and control of their products.
Advance the frontiers of understanding by developing innovative open source software platforms and integrating them into research, processes, and products.
- Culture › We promote an inclusive and energized environment that emphasizes integrity and teamwork.
- Growth › We work passionately and creatively to grow personally, professionally, and together as a company.
- Collaboration › We drive sustainable innovation through collaborative relationships with customers and open source communities.
- Open Science › We champion algorithms and open source software platforms to accelerate the pace of reproducible research and product development.
- Impact › We advance scientific understanding for the betterment of humankind.
Letter From the CEO
As one of the five founders of Kitware, I am proud to share our journey with you. We began in 1998 with just a single office in Clifton Park, New York, and a passion to bring advanced visualization technology to the world through the Visualization Toolkit (VTK). With funding in the early years from the National Library of Medicine to develop the Insight Segmentation and Registration Toolkit (ITK) and CMake, as well as from the U.S. National Laboratories to build ParaView, we quickly gained a reputation for creating, maintaining, and growing open source platforms, along with their vibrant communities. These successes encouraged us to adopt an open source business model that greatly diminishes our need to compete and instead provides us with the freedom to collaborate.
Our business model was highly unusual when we first adopted it, and even today, it is often misunderstood. We are frequently asked how we generate revenue when our open source platforms are freely available. The truth is that innovation, not software, is our primary product. A more traditional business model would have us protect our intellectual property and build a salesforce to license it, but that would actually hinder our ability to create solutions.
Customers, collaborators, and open source communities see the benefits that our business model brings. Commercial customers appreciate the speed at which we create customized solutions based on our platforms, while federal agencies know that their investments have a broad and lasting impact. Likewise, academic and research partners understand the collaborative potential of freely available software, and open source communities realize that shared software maintenance improves robustness and reduces costs for everyone.
Our widely used open source platforms help us to attract amazing talent, which has enabled us to grow. As a result, we’ve expanded into technology areas such as medical computing, computer vision, and data and analytics. In these areas, we’ve added platforms, including 3D Slicer, the Kitware Image and Video Exploitation and Retrieval (KWIVER) toolkit, and Resonant.
Our drive is evident in all that we do, and it is embodied in the mission statement that our team members created. I invite you to explore our website to learn more about us and how we can work together to advance the frontiers of understanding.
CEO and co-founder of Kitware Inc.
Our Commitment to Open Science
Collaborations with Academia, Government, and Industry
Our platforms have promoted and benefited from extensive collaborations with academia, government, and industry. We have facilitated these collaborations, in part, by distributing our platforms using open source software licenses that are not encumbered with onerous intellectual property restrictions. These licenses encourage talented developers from around the world to scrutinize our platforms, develop innovative solutions using them, and contribute those solutions back to them. Rigorous test and review processes ensure that contributions to our platforms meet extremely high coding standards. These open licenses, world-wide collaborations, and high-quality contributions ensure that our platforms and their communities drive scientific inquiry and innovation as a matter of daily practice.
Open Source Business Model
Open source software naturally supports a service business model. This model helps our customers make effective use of the advanced algorithmic capabilities of our platforms, avoid vendor lock-in, and build their own solutions and internal expertise.
While we encourage open source software, data sharing, and open access publications whenever possible, we also respect the need for proprietary solutions due to competitive, privacy, security, and regulatory restrictions. We will work with any enterprise to integrate our open source platforms into its products and processes, even if portions of the solution remain closed.
Our open source business model has helped us create a dynamic, impactful, challenging, and meaningful corporate culture and make significant contributions to our customers and collaborators. These benefits are reflected in our mission and our values.