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RFID Consortium, Convergence Systems Ltd. enter patent portfolio license ••• Thinfilm, Beneli AB partner to offer NFC label conversion services in Europe ••• River Island awards Byways Group exclusive RFID label supply contract ••• CISC Semiconductor releases compact test equipment for RFID ••• NXT-ID chooses Nordic Semiconductor's wireless BLE and NFC module for smart cards, wearables ••• Silicon Labs acquires Wi-Fi company Zentri ••• Terso Solutions to lead panel on health care, inventory automation using RAIN RFID technology.
By Rich Handley

Thinfilm, Beneli AB Partner to Offer NFC Label Conversion Services in Europe

Thin Film Electronics ASA ("Thinfilm"), a provider of Near Field Communication (NFC)-based smart-packaging solutions using printed electronics, has announced a partnership with Sweden-based Beneli AB, a provider of self-adhesive labels and related solutions. The partnership strengthens Thinfilm's converter program, the company reports, by providing strategic coverage in Scandinavia and the broader European region. In addition, the relationship extends Beneli's wireless product offering beyond RFID asset tracking, to now include NFC solutions for consumer engagement and authentication applications.

Thinfilm and Beneli will collaborate to provide Thinfilm's NFC solutions—featuring both SpeedTap and OpenSense tags supported by a cloud-based software platform—to existing Beneli clients and other consumer brands across a range of markets. Beneli maintains a presence in the spirits, medical, cosmetics and tobacco industries, and also serves the food, pharmaceuticals and logistics sectors. Initial market trials are expected to begin during the second quarter of this year.

Thinfilm's OpenSense
Each SpeedTap and OpenSense tag is uniquely identifiable and virtually impossible to clone, the company explains, and can be read via the tap of an NFC-enabled smartphone or device. Once tapped, tags wirelessly communicate with the cloud, creating a one-to-one mobile marketing platform from which brands can then connect directly with consumers. This allows marketers to instantly deliver authentication messages, promotional offers, product news and other relevant content. OpenSense technology also offers additional protection against package tampering and refill fraud.

"I'm very excited about our partnership with Thinfilm and the ability it gives us to deliver more value to our customers," said Jimmy Sterner, Beneli's CEO, in a prepared statement. "With Thinfilm's NFC technology, we can now offer a powerful solutions platform that significantly enhances the ability of brand owners to connect and communicate with consumers."

Thinfilm's SpeedTap
Thinfilm says it views label and packaging integration services as a critical component of its NFC solutions offering. These conversion capabilities, delivered through qualified partners—in addition to the hardware and software provided by Thinfilm—create a one-stop shop for brands seeking smart packaging solutions, the company explains. Thinfilm is currently expanding its converter program globally, and expects to have approximately 30 vertically specialized partners in place by the end of 2017.

"Our partnership with a European leader such as Beneli fills a key geographic need for us and, as a result, significantly extends our conversion services in Scandinavia and throughout Europe," said Davor Sutija, Thinfilm's CEO, in the prepared statement. "The enhanced capabilities Thinfilm gains through this partnership will be critical as we look to meet the growing demands of leading consumer brands, mobile marketers and digital agencies."

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