Solution Center Pairs Fort Wayne Firm and IUPUI Radio Frequency Identification Expert; Puts Up Nearly $27,000 For Project
INDIANAPOLIS - When Briljent, a Fort Wayne technical writing, training and documentation company, came to the IUPUI Solution Center to find an expert in radio frequency identification (RFID) who could develop materials for a study guide for a new RFID certification exam, the Solution Center had the answer and the money to help make it happen.
"As IUPUI's 'office of engagement,' it's my job to work with business and industry to match them to resources and expertise on the campus. We were very successful with this partnership," said Teresa Bennett, the IUPUI Solution Center's director for outreach.
The Solution Center paired Briljent with Elaine Cooney, an associate professor of electrical engineering technology at IUPUI. Cooney is an expert in Radio Frequency Identification (RFID).
RFID is a catchall term for a broad array of technologies that use radio signals to identify and track a wide range of items.
The Solution Center then put up nearly $27,000 for Cooney to develop core materials for a RFID technology exam study guide and other preparatory materials that will be packaged and marketed by Briljent. The Solution Center contribution represents nearly half of the cost of the partnership, and supports Professor Cooney's work, two technical interns, two marketing interns, and testing equipment costs.
The study materials are expected to be released in the fall of 2005. The certification exam being developed by the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) is expected be available in late 2005 or 2006.
Both Briljent and IUPUI are members of a committee CompTIA formed to advance the certification exam initiative.
"We are excited to be part of this important committee," said Kathy Carrier, president and CEO of Briljent. "We understand the importance of industry standard training and certification programs. Our collaboration with IUPUI is focused on business opportunities in the RFID field."
CompTIA's initiative is designed to develop a vendor-neutral certification that validates an RFID technician's knowledge and skills in the areas of installation, maintenance, repair, and upkeep of hardware and software functionality of RFID products.
With more than 20,000 members in 102 countries, CompTIA is the leading global information technology (IT) trade association with influence in all areas of the IT industry worldwide. It's headquartered in Chicago.
RFID has been in the spotlight recently due to mandates from major market influencers, such as the U.S. Department of Defense and Wal-Mart, that will accelerate the adoption of RFID tracking in the near future.
According to leading RFID experts there is a worldwide lack of skilled integrators who have the facilities, education, and expertise to design, deploy and manage RFID networks. Estimates show that more than 60,000 businesses are under RFID mandates.
For employers, confirming these proficiencies through certification ensures a skilled workforce that builds customer loyalty and enhances profitability through lower costs for customer/channel education, technical support, warranty claims and overall product costs.
The Solution Center was established at IUPUI to serve as a gateway to campus resources and to address the economic and business development needs of central Indiana. It serves as a single point of access to campus resources to develop partnerships, create professional internships, link community and faculty, and customize programs and research for community clients. Through the Solution Center, more than 600 students a year will learn by experience through internships, service learning, research, and other economic development projects.