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U.K.'s RFID Centre Partners With Construction Association

The two organizations hope to facilitate the adoption of RFID by the country's building-construction industry.
By Jonathan Collins
Jul 20, 2006The U.K.-based RFID Centre has formed a strategic partnership with the Construction Industry Computing Association (CICA), an organization dedicated to promoting the use of information technology in the U.K. construction industry.

The alliance will enable the RFID Centre to help raise awareness about radio frequency identification (RFID) in the construction industry, while providing education and advice about RFID and associated wireless technologies. For the CICA, the alliance offers its members with an independent RFID technology partner.

Tony Ardagh
As part of the agreement, the RFID Centre will hold several educational events this year. Two half-day introductory briefings, "An Introduction to RFID in Construction," are set for Sept. 28 and Nov. 22. Each event will explain RFID and its potential applications in the construction industry. Another half-day event, "Winning With Wireless in Construction," will introduce a range of wireless technologies on Nov. 2.

Located in Bracknell, the RFID Centre has similar partnerships with U.K. professional and government bodies, including the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT), the Society of Information Technology Management (SOCITM), the National Computing Centre (NCC) and the government's Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG).

Operating as a permanent demonstration and exhibition center for RFID and related wireless technologies, the center opened in January 2005 with the backing of founding sponsors Cable & Wireless, Microsoft, Cisco Systems, Intel and the U.K. government's Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). Since then, it has had 3,500 visitors and hosted 180 events. Its sponsors and associates now number 48 organizations. In addition to providing an educational and demonstration facility for U.K.-based and European organizations, the center also helps bring prospective customers to its RFID vendor sponsors.

Every six months, the center produces a DTI-backed report on its activities and the visitors it has surveyed at its events. The latest report, covering the period ending June 30, highlights a growing interest in RFID within the United Kingdom and a shift toward deployment. In the past six months, more than 1,100 visitors, up by 21 percent from the year prior, have come to the center’s events to view presentations and demonstrations. In addition, 29 percent said they were implementing or planning to implement an RFID project within the next 12 months; a year ago, only 19 percent responded in that manner.

"There has been a distinct change from 18 months ago, when the center opened," says Tony Ardagh, alliance manager at the RFID Centre. "Then, people came because they were curious [about the technology]; now, more than half have a project or a fairly clearly identified requirement."

The center has found that visitors come from all industry sectors and that 40 percent of them represent companies that bring in more than $200 million in revenue.
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