BLOOMINGTON, IN—July 25, 2008—Information In Place Inc., a developer of interactive training tools, announced today the launch of its computer-based training module that provides interactive hazardous materials training and mobile practice drills.
The Bloomington-based company, which designed the interactive module to supplement basic workplace hazardous materials training, is using a $100,000 matching grant from the state’s Small Business Innovation Research program to improve and commercialize the product.
“Indiana is committed to increasing the amount of federal research dollars coming into our state as we work to diversify the economy and grow more high-growth, innovation-focused companies in Indiana,” said Nathan Feltman, Secretary of Commerce and chief executive officer of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation.
The module consists of several hazardous materials response scenarios that can be downloaded and played on the computer and also contains practice drills that can be accessed by mobile phone. The drills allow trainees to practice knowledge of important signs and terminology needed for hazard recognition. The technology delivers immediate feedback and varies questions according to whether they are answered correctly to ensure that users retain the information.
“The core idea is to use authentic missions as the basis for a course,” said Sonny Kirkley, chief executive of Information in Place. “The students play the simulation-games to solve the missions and perform other activities to learn things they need to know to accomplish the mission. The goal is for students to know the content but also to know how to solve real world problems at the end of the training.”
The module also includes scenario-based games that simulate real-world hazardous materials incidents. The simulations are part of a growing initiative to use interactive game technology for non-entertainment applications in training, education, health and public policy.
“Trainees are inundated with so much data and they don’t know why it’s useful,” Kirkley said. “What we’re trying to do is make the information more relevant and interesting. The games help trainees cognitively respond to situations and enhance those parts of the course that aren’t effective and that don’t engage students already.”
Founded in 1999 as a spinout of the Indiana University Center for Excellence in Education, Information in Place works with researchers at Indiana University and Purdue University to develop its software. The Johnson Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business named the company one of Indiana’s most innovative companies in 2005, 2006 and 2007. The company also scored accolades from Military Training Technology magazine as one of the global top 100 companies in the military training industry from 2003 through 2007.
The IEDC provides proposal-drafting assistance and a dollar for dollar match to companies successful in obtaining Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer grants from federal agencies. The IEDC has made 195 SBIR/STTR grants totaling $17.9 million to qualified high-tech Indiana companies. The IEDC also made five enhancement awards totaling $1.6 million to Indiana technology firms from the newly created Indiana SBIR/STTR Commercialization Enhancement Program.
About Information in Place
Based in Bloomington, Indiana, Information in Place, Inc. has a strong background in providing education, training and performance support solutions for corporate and government clients. Information in Place, Inc. provides intelligent training tools and performance enhancement software solutions that greatly improve productivity and reduce the complexity of managing vital information. For more information about Information in Place, please visit www.informationinplace.com.
Established under Governor Mitch Daniels in 2005 to replace the former Department of Commerce, the Indiana Economic Development Corporation is governed by a 12-member board chaired by Governor Daniels. Indiana Secretary of Commerce Nathan Feltman serves as the chief executive officer of the IEDC. Since the creation of the IEDC, the state has posted three consecutive years of record-breaking commitments for new jobs. For more information about IEDC, visit www.iedc.in.gov.
Sonny Kirkley (Information in Place) – 812.856.4202 or info [a t] informationinplace.com
Mitch Frazier (IEDC) – 317.232.8873 or MFrazier [a t] iedc.in.gov