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MILITARY TECHNOLOGY (MILTECH) is the world's leading international tri-service defence monthly magazine in the English language. MILITARY TECHNOLOGY is "Required Reading for Defence Professionals". Follow us on Twitter: MILTECH1

20 May 2016

The Power of Two

Training and simulation companies come in all shapes, sizes and forms. It is common at ITEC, having taken place in London this week, to see small – sometimes very small – companies seeking to compete with the ‘usual suspects,’ leveraging niche capabilities, specialised expertise and copious quantities of “can do” to convince users of the suitability of their training solutions.

It is slightly less common to see such companies in active collaboration to the extent of sharing booth and marketing facilities in their quest and much less common to see them subcontracting some of their work to prominent members of those same ‘usual suspects.’

NIDA Corporation provides a wide variety of software technical support, eLearning and customised training development services. Their customer base centres on the educational market – “primarily the tech schools,” according to company President Kevin Gulliver – but also includes universities, industry and the military. Covering the gamut of basic electronics education and training requirements from electricity to avionics, the NIDA range of solutions includes a SCORM-compliant learning management system and a comprehensive testing and performance assessment tool.

Doug Simpson, Managing Director of innovative Technology Projects (iTP) is a man evidently driven by the challenge of finding graceful and often ground-breaking solutions to problems nobody else wants to deal with. The company’s acoustic systems trainers (ATP), providing realistic hands-on learning opportunities for sonar operators and maintainers, are installed in an impressive number of maritime and naval establishments from the United States and Britain to Indonesia, Taiwan and Brazil.

Put those two companies together and they become an inexorable force, offering compelling reasons for end users to not only take them seriously but to engage actively with them. Which is exactly what happened at ITEC this week according to Simpson. “We’ve had quite a lot of very serious interest in simple but effective problem-solving,” he told MT.

Companies don’t come much smaller than iTP in terms of personnel, to be honest. So it is not only interesting but, for this reporter, a matter of wry satisfaction that Simpson’s principal subcontractor for the ATP is none other than BAE Systems!

Tim Mahon