EMTASC unveiling draws state, industry officials to Suffolk

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 1, 2005

The country will soon be much safer, thanks to technology developed in the northernmost corner of Suffolk.

Gov. Mark R. Warner, along with more than 350 leaders in the modeling and simulation industry and local government, on Wednesday converged upon Harbour View to unveil the Emergency Management Training, Analysis & Simulation Center.

EMTASC, the city’s newest modeling and simulation industry coup, will use the latest computer technology for training and supporting homeland security and emergency management initiatives.

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The center, located at Old Dominion University’s Virginia Modeling, Analysis and Simulation Center,

will help local, regional and national emergency officials respond to natural disasters and terrorist attacks in real-life time, said Janet Cox, the organization’s spokeswoman.

Clients will be able to incorporate simulation tools into their existing programs, allowing users to focus on their own specific needs, she said. EMTASC will begin offering training in January, with initial emphasis on Virginia localities.

&uot;Modeling and simulation tools give a real-time perspective, enabling those at the command and management level to have lessons-learned that can lead to real-world use,&uot; Cox said.

Rescuers could use technology developed at EMTASC to find the most effective way to reach hurricane survivors trapped on rooftops.

It could show the safest routes to take to deliver food, water and medial supplies during

a natural disaster,

It could lead border patrol agents find gaps on the nation’s borders.

And it could continue putting Suffolk – and all of Hampton Road –

on the map in the country’s growing modeling and simulation industry, Warner said.

&uot;Modeling and simulation is one of the fastest growing areas of technology,&uot; he said. &uot;This is an uncharted area and we think we can take a lead in the industry.&uot;

Modeling and simulation has pumped nearly $500 million to the Hampton Roads economy, according to an economic impact study released in March 2005.

&uot;We think we can double that by the end of decade,&uot; Warner said. &uot;This is not only a Suffolk initiative. It’s about Hampton Roads and all of Virginia.

Tom O’Grady, the city’s director of economic dev elopement agreed.

&uot;This new facility will increase awareness and exposure to modeling and simulation and the commitment in Hampton Roads,&uot; he said. &uot;It can do nothing but help our efforts to promote this new evolving industry nationwide.&uot;

EMTASC was created through a partnership between local government, Old Dominion University and 17 high-tech businesses in Hampton Roads: Alion, Anteon Corp., BMH, Boeing Co., Booz Allen Hamilton, Capstone, Cubic, DDL Omni Engineering, Evidence Based Research Inc., General Dynamics, Lockheed Martin, Loyola Enterprises, MYMIC, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, SAIC and WernerAnderson Inc.