Cross-cultural SBIR projects featured at ARI meeting

Wednesday, June 24th, 2009

By Doug Nelson

On June 3-4, 2009, Kinection attended the U.S. Army Research Institute’s (ARI) Intercultural Assessment and Training Tools Interim Project Review meeting in Crystal City, Virginia. During this two-day event, companies with intercultural SBIRs through ARI shared their project status and discussed opportunities for collaboration. Projects that were represented included:

  • Kinection’s “Cross-Cultural Competence Toolkit”
  • 361 Interactive’s “Measuring Learning and Development in Cross-Cultural Competence“
  • eCrossCulture’s “Social Perspective Taking” and “Decoding Nonverbal Cues in Cross-Cultural Settings”
  • vCom 3D’s “Cultural Context for Distributed Simulations”
  • CHI Systems’ “CulturePad: Modeling Culturally Accurate Behavior in Multiplayer Game Environments”
  • Charles River Analytics’ “CAATE: Culturally Aware Agents for Training Environments”
  • ARI-Leavenworth’s “Training Tools to Improve the Teaching and Coaching Skills of Military Advisors”

This informative two day session, facilitated by Dr. Allison Abbe of ARI, gave participants an increased understanding of the content of other culture-related SBIRs.

I reported that based on data collection results at Ft. Benning and Ft. Carson, the Kinection team has decided to focus on emerging leaders as an audience for the Cross-Cultural Competence Toolkit. This population is composed of ranks E5 through E6 and O1 through O2 who are new to those roles or will be soon deployed in those roles.

Also, based on data collection results, Kinection’s “Cross Cultural Competence Toolkit” project will primarily focus on face-to-face training tools rather than computer-based individual learning.

During my presentation, I also strongly advocated for aligning SBIR projects  around the cross-cultural competencies defined in the October 2008 report, “Developing and Managing Cross-Cultural Competence within the Department of Defense: Recommendations for Learning and Assessment” by Dr. Daniel P. McDonald, Dr. Gary McGuire, Dr. Joan Johnston, Dr. Brian Selmeski, and Dr. Allison Abbe.

Thank you to ARI for arranging such a productive and informative event.

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