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Europe Launches Initiative to Drive RFID Adoption

A European initiative to mature and expand the use of EPCglobal applications launched this week in Brussels. Called the Building Radio frequency IDentification solutions for the Global Environment, or "BRIDGE", project, it has European Commission support, 7.5 million euros in funding, and a three-year timeline.
Jul 14, 2006This article was originally published by RFID Update.

July 14, 2006—A European initiative to mature and expand the use of EPCglobal applications launched this week in Brussels. Called the Building Radio frequency IDentification solutions for the Global Environment, or "BRIDGE", project, it has European Commission support, 7.5 million euros in funding, and a three-year timeline.

The idea is to bring together representatives from the RFID vendor, end user, research, and academic communities to advance realization of the EPCglobal network. A total of 31 organizations are members of the consortium. "The BRIDGE project will transform RFID from being an identification technology into providing an EPCglobal based product information network," said Henri Barthel, technical director at EPCglobal and the BRIDGE project coordinator. The project will also serve to enhance Europe's competitiveness in the global RFID market.

The initiative casts a wide net, touching on all aspects of the ecosystem that can contribute to RFID's progress. Business-based research, distribution of both EPCglobal-based information services and associated RFID hardware like tags and sensors, and software development are all part of the plan. The aim is to stimulate more pilots and deployments, as well as the production of industry-focused RFID training material. Targeted sectors include anti-counterfeiting, healthcare, the textile industry, food manufacturing, reusable asset management, and retail.

According to the BRIDGE project website, the consortium is organized into three functional areas: business-oriented clusters, technical development clusters, and horizontal activities. The business clusters handle the business side of RFID deployment, including identifying opportunities for the application of RFID, developing business cases, executing pilots and deployments, evaluating the results, and publishing guidelines for the use of RFID in the chosen business contexts. The technical clusters support the business clusters by performing relevant research into technical, organizational, and policy issues. The horizontal activities will include training and the distribution of the project's learnings.

GS1, the global data standards body and parent organization of EPCglobal, is the BRIDGE project coordinator. The other current members are:
  • Standards organizations:
    • GS1 UK
    • GS1 Spain
    • GS1 France
    • GS1 Germany
    • GS1 Poland
    • GS1 China
  • Research organizations:
    • Auto-ID Lab in Cambridge, UK
    • Auto-ID Lab at Fudan University in Shanghai, China
    • Auto-ID Lab at ETH in Zurich/St Gallen, Switzerland
    • Polytechnic University of Catalonia in Barcelona, Spain
    • Graz University of Technology in Graz, Austria
  • Twelve vendors:
    • British Telecom
    • SAP Research
    • AIDA Centre
    • CAEN
    • Confidex
    • CETECOM Spain
    • UPM Raflatac
    • VeriSign UK
    • Melior Solutions
    • Unisys
    • Domino
    • JJ Associates
  • Seven end users:
    • Carrefour
    • Nestlé UK
    • Benedicta
    • Kaufhof
    • Sony
    • El Corte Inglés
    • Gardeur AG


Read the announcement from GS1
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