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Eight RFID Labs Form Global RF Lab Alliance

The goal of the group, which includes the University of Arkansas' RFID Research Center, is to spur large-scale research initiatives.
By Beth Bacheldor
May 01, 2007Academia has joined forces to drive research collaboration and communication among top labs around the world focused on RFID initiatives. This confederation, the Global RF Lab Alliance (GRFLA), was founded by the University of Arkansas' RFID Research Center in the United States, the RFID Lab at Italy's University of Parma and the University of Bremen's LogDynamics Lab in Germany.

Announced today at RFID Journal LIVE! 2007 in Orlando, Fla., the alliance will provide a mechanism for coordinating research and sharing information among the world's top laboratories studying radio frequency identification technologies, says Bill Hardgrave, executive director of the Information Technology Research Institute and director of the RFID Research Center with the University of Arkansas' Sam M. Walton College of Business. "As the area of RF began to grow, we started seeing centers of excellence around the world," Hardgrave says, "but we had no formalized mechanism to communicate and collaborate. The alliance is a way for these labs to do some great work."

The GRFLA, adds Hardgrave, will enable labs to expand their work beyond their own initiatives, as well share resources such as students and professors, collaborate on projects and avoid duplication of efforts. The hope is that the GRFLA will be able to spur large-scale RFID initiatives—which can be very difficult when undertaken by individual labs—by pooling the research and resources of multiple laboratories. "The most exciting thing to me is the opportunity to attack the really big global RF projects rather than piecemeal projects worked on by individual labs," he states. "Collectively, we have a much better chance of effecting real change, rather than incremental advances individually."

The GRFLA plans to submit grant proposals for projects to both the European Union and the National Science Foundation.

In addition to research efforts, the alliance plans to publish a quarterly academic periodical, The International Journal of RF Technologies: Research and Applications, which will focus on the application of RFID and other RF technologies to solve business problems. The publication, which the GRGLA hopes to launch in 2008, will feature articles submitted by RF technology experts.

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