Worldwide tech company has local roots

ATS awarded more than $43,000 to fund data analysis engine.


Staff writer

The technology industry is on the rise and one fast-growing company that supports operations around the world is headquartered right here in Silverdale.

Applied Technical Systems, or ATS Intelligent Discovery, was founded by Rick Leenstra in 1980. The retired Navy officer started the company in Silverdale, but it quickly branched out and planted offices in Washington, D.C. and Norfolk, Va.

ATS Intelligent Discovery is an innovative technology company that provides services, software and solutions to the Department of Defense, U.S. Intelligence Community, state/local government and the commercial IT marketplace.

“We’re primarily a federal government contractor. We do services work for the Department of Defense, U.S. Intelligence Community and Homeland Security as well as develop technology for the same customers,” said ATS President David Wachter. “We support operations around the globe including Iraq, Korea and Afghanistan.”

Washington Technology Center recently awarded ATS Intelligent Discovery more than $43,000 in Research and Technology Development funding based on a proposal from ATS in collaboration with Washington State University.

ATS Intelligent Discovery is working with Associate Professor Krishnamoorthy Sivakumar of WSU’s School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science to develop a graphical database mining platform for improved data analysis and discovery.

“We were doing some consulting work with one of their Ph.D.s and he suggested we apply for a joint research grant and we got the grant, which is good,” Wachter said.

ATS Intelligent Discovery created the patent-pending Relationship Generating Graph Analysis Engine, or REGGAE. REGGAE focuses on the analytic capabilities of the database and is “a fundamental advancement in relationship analytics technology,” according to ATS Intelligent Discovery. It has the capability to identify relationships within data from one source or many, Wachter said.

“It allows us to take a variety of different sources and mash them together,” he said. “We’ve developed a very easy interface to allow a person to interact with the data very easily.”

Wachter said the WSU professor and graduate students are primarily working on REGGAE, which was the basis for the Washington Technology Center funding.

“The bulk of the work is being done by the academic institution which was the intent of the grant,” Wachter said.

Once REGGAE has identified all of the relationships within the data, a person can look at it using a variety of analysis tools supplied by REGGAE. The “Find Similar” tool can find uncommon connections within the data which can come in handy for law enforcement agencies and the U.S. Intelligence Community. If two detectives were investigating a unique aspect of murder cases such as ritualistic body markings, they could essentially check REGGAE and identify similarities between the cases, according to Wachter.

Washington Technology Center awards about $1 million in state funding annually as part of the Research and Technology Development program. ATS Intelligent Discovery was one of eight companies to receive funding this year.

“Our hope would be that there is the potential for future phases of funding,” Wachter said. “We’ll apply for future money based on positive results.”

Wachter said ATS Intelligent Discovery has undergone a growth spurt during the past two years. The company grew from 25 to 70 employees during that time period and both Wachter and state Rep. Sherry Appleton (D-Poulsbo) hope ATS Intelligent Discovery’s success and continued growth will show people they don’t have to commute to Seattle to work in the technology industry.

“ATS Intelligent Discovery’s ability to secure this grant is testament to the quality of work they’re doing,” Appleton stated in a news release. “High tech continues to drive our state’s economy and it’s great to see Silverdale on the edge of this job-producing industry. ATS’s success and innovation will draw jobs to our community, and that’s good news for everyone.”

ATS Intelligent Discovery

3505 NW Anderson Hill Road, Suite 200


(360) 698-7100