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Transatlantic Consortium to Research RFID
The US and UK today announced the launch of a far-reaching defense technology research program that will span military, industry, and academic institutions. It will be composed of 25 organizations and led by IBM. Called the International Technology Alliance, it could last up to ten years and reach a value of $135.8 million.
Sep 17, 2006—This article was originally published by RFID Update.
September 17, 2006—The United States and United Kingdom today announced the official launch of a far-reaching defense technology research program that will span military, industry, and academic institutions. Called the International Technology Alliance in Network and Information Sciences, or ITA, the transatlantic consortium will be composed of 25 organizations and led by IBM. It could last up to ten years and reach a value of $135.8 million.
The ITA is essentially a defense technology sharing program between the US and UK. The research focus will be on wireless, networking, and security with the aim of understanding the collection, flow, and coordination of distributed data and how it can be leveraged in warfare. The work will be organized into four categories: network theory, systems security, sensor information processing and delivery, and distributed planning and decision making.
IBM researcher Dinesh Verma, who is program manager of the ITA, told RFID Update that the consortium's work with RFID technology will fall into the third category. Three particular areas of RFID will be explored. The first deals with the management and analysis of data generated by RFID. The second will explore how RFID systems can be automated through software. The final segment addresses the complexity of RFID systems. As an example, Verma said, "How do you manage the complexity of huge networks with small tags and small sensors?" The consortium's RFID work will be part of much broader efforts within sensor and actuator technology, including research into mesh networks, wireless mobile ad hoc networks, and smart dust.
The United States Army Research Laboratory and United Kingdom Ministry of Defense are the driving organizations of the ITA, which numbers 25 participants in total. The breadth of participants is considerable, with representation from military, industry, and academia of both nations. The consortium claims to be one of the world's largest collaborative technology programs. The industry and academic participants are:
IBM's role as leader will be to manage the ITA, as well as carry out work at its own laboratories. "The job of IBM is both to provide coordination among all the researchers, and also in our research lab we will be doing a large part of the research," said Verma. IBM was selected to lead the program by the US and UK governments, who issued a request for proposal in February of 2005 and made the final selection earlier this year.
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