SBIR Phase II: OptDiverse: Innovative Technology to Enhance Workforce Diversity, Capabilities, and Performance

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 0750045
Agency Tracking Number: 0637447
Amount: $439,646.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2008
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: MI
Solicitation Number: NSF 06-553
Small Business Information
OptTek Systems, Inc.
1919 Seventh Street, Boulder, CO, 80302
DUNS: 128005423
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Fred Glover
 PhD
 (303) 447-3255
 glover@opttek.com
Business Contact
 Fred Glover
Title: PhD
Phone: (303) 447-3255
Email: glover@opttek.com
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract
This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II project seeks to refine an algorithmic approach and develop prototype software for workforce optimization with a focus on diversity planning and management. This project is expected to achieve the following four major objectives: 1) further enhance and extend the core technology created during Phase I and endow it with added capabilities that will be valuable for marketability as well as effectiveness; 2) enhance external communications - the software must communicate effectively with the user and database systems. In Phase I, rudimentary communications were established. During Phase II, the system will be greatly enhanced to allow for more effective use; 3) develop software as a service architecture - for greatest market penetration, the software will be deployed via the web. The system architecture will be redesigned to accommodate this requirement; and 4) perform alpha-testing - internal and external testing is critical to releasing a high-quality product. The Phase II research will strengthen the technical aspects of the product while significantly improving its ease of use, producing a system ready to enter the market. The commercial applications anticipated for the software system are to first enhance the performance of workforce diversity planning and then evolve to supporting the optimization of the entire workforce. The technology is expected to have a significant impact on the broader inclusion of under-represented talent in the workforce. We also expect the technology to lead to improved organizational performance by enabling better decisions in recruitment and retention of all employees. The software will permit an organization to model and simulate critical patterns between policies, programs, initiatives, as well as other factors such as practices and compensation. The impacts of this research include the potential to: 1) design a more effective approach (simulation/optimization) to diversity planning and workforce optimization, increase workforce diversity, capabilities, and performance; 2) support a significant social and economic initiative; 3) become appealing to attract investments as it significantly increases return and minimizes risk in diversity and workforce planning; 4) add to the body of knowledge in human resource management and decision sciences that may be leveraged to permit additional research and development.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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