The Defence Technology Agency’s Mana simulator for military operations (see Mana: New Zealand’s terrorist war on screen) has sparked interest from the Department of Conservation (DoC) and Trade NZ.
DoC business services officer Paul Hughes sees a possible use for the Mana technique in modelling the spread of plants, birds and animals through a conservation area and the effectiveness of methods for encouraging or discouraging such movement.
The department has tried other “cellular automata” – the general class of program to which Mana belongs – to simulate these changes, Hughes says, but they had proved insufficiently sophisticated to reflect real-world behaviour. Mana sounds more advanced, he says.
Trade NZ is interested in the software purely as a potential export, not for its own use, says technology and services account manger Dominic Cavanagh. Mana is one among many products that the organisation considers on a daily basis for its sales potential overseas, he says.
“Obviously we scour Computerworld for the latest news of anything like this on the IT front.”