15 November 2011
Simulation industry association chief Adrian Smith says an increasing number of tech-savvy generations now prefer to learn through technology such as serious gaming and simulation rather than textbooks.
He made the comments in the lead-up to a November 23 Simulation Australia seminar in Adelaide, where the industry will talk about how simulation ideas, capabilities and technologies can transform businesses. State Manufacturing, Innovation, Trade, Resources and Energy department representatives will also describe government programs developed to drive economic value creation in this space.
Mr Smith was reappointed to a second-year term as chairman of Simulation Australia earlier this year, and says SA is ideally placed to capitalise on the booming industry.
Many companies were based in SA to be near the defence and mining industry with companies like Civil Train expanding its capabilities for training in the civil construction industry.
“The entertainment industry engages (people) through having them learn through game play and tactics,” Mr Smith, who is also managing director of Adelaide-based Sydac, said.
“The outcome is they have had a good experience learning. We then do exactly the same thing but we are trying to control what they are learning.”
His company, simulation technology and engineering software developer Sydac, is “probably number two in the world for simulation in the rail transport industry”.
Its clients include Rail Corp in Sydney, London Underground in the UK, Eurostar and Norwegian Railways.
Sydac started in Adelaide in 1988 and now has about 110 of its 135-strong workforce based locally; the rest are scattered around Australia with 20 based in England.
Sydac was bought by German rail company Knorr-Bremse in 2009 with Mr Smith saying it was “investing heavily in establishing SA as head of technology”.
Mr Smith said there had been a “massive expansion” during the past five to 10 years as the price point of delivering simulation technology fell dramatically and demand grew.
“Simulation in the late ’80s and early ’90s was a million dollars worth of hardware to generate the graphics for visual training and today you would do that work for a few hundred dollars,” he said.
Growing markets included China, with Mr Smith saying the industry offered great opportunity to the state.
The simulation seminar and networking event will be held at the InterContinental on North Terrace from 3pm to 5pm on November 23.