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Indiana Daily Student

IU Crisis Technologies Innovation Lab to develop solutions for first responders

<p>A flipped shed sits June 17 in the backyard of Mary Brosman’s home in Ellettsville, Indiana. The Luddy School of Informatics, Computing and Engineering and University Information Technology Services have collaborated to create the Crisis Technologies Innovation Lab, which was recently awarded $650,000 in federal grants to continue its research in disaster resilience.</p>

A flipped shed sits June 17 in the backyard of Mary Brosman’s home in Ellettsville, Indiana. The Luddy School of Informatics, Computing and Engineering and University Information Technology Services have collaborated to create the Crisis Technologies Innovation Lab, which was recently awarded $650,000 in federal grants to continue its research in disaster resilience.

The Luddy School of Informatics, Computing and Engineering and University Information Technology Services have collaborated to create the Crisis Technologies Innovation Lab, which is a part of the IU Pervasive Technology Institute. 

CTIL Co-Director David Wild said the lab, officially created in June, will bring new technology innovations to first responders and research ways technology can help them prepare for, respond to and recover from natural disasters. 

Wild said CTIL works with the Bloomington Fire Department to create practical solutions. Bloomington Fire Chief Jason Moore is an associate director at the lab. 

The lab is filled with technologies such as visual displays that use artificial intelligence to collect multiple data streams, such as weather or traffic information during an accident, and combine and analyze them to help emergency managers make more accurate and timely decisions, according to an IU press release. 

The lab was recently awarded $650,000 in federal grants to continue its research in disaster resilience. 

CTIL uses data science tools to gather data relating to disaster risk, resilience and cost. It then puts it together on one platform that allows IU’s machine learning to identify ways money can be better spent to reduce the impact of disasters or help communities recover more quickly, Wild said. 

These technologies are important to the field of emergency responders because they can help monitor more data feeds and help with situational awareness, Wild said. 

“If you have maybe four to five data feeds, a human being can monitor them,” Wild said. “If you have 1,000 feeds, a human being can’t in real time interpret all that data, but a machine can.”

The three co-directors of the CTIL are Wild, Matthew Link, a center director for the PVI, and Robert Henschel, director of research software and solutions in IU's Research Technologies division.

“Over the next two decades, our country and the world will face unprecedented challenges from climate change, political turmoil and dependence on a vulnerable technology infrastructure,” Wild said in the IU press release. “In the CTIL, we will be exploring the technologies that will help us address these challenges and thrive as a society.” 

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