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Two RFID Academic Events Planned for 2007

Leading academics focused on RFID have announced plans to hold one event in the United States, colocated with RFID Journal LIVE!, and another in Europe.
By Andrew Price
The fifth RFID Academic Convocation, hosted by RFID Journal LIVE! 2007 on April 30, brings together leading RFID researchers labs, end-user companies and RFID technology providers to address research issues surrounding the implementation of RFID.

"We are encouraging participation by qualified academic and industry researchers and governmental agency representatives," says Steve Miles, a researcher at the Auto-ID Labs at MIT and a member of the event's organizing committee. Speakers will be able to attend RFID Journal LIVE!, which runs from April 30 to May 2, free of charge. Qualified academics interested in attending both the RFID Academic Convocation and RFID Journal LIVE! can do so for a discounted fee.

Among the topics the fifth RFID Academic Convocation will address, as part of RFID Journal LIVE! 2007's agenda, are:
• RFID implementation trade-offs for health care and life sciences
• EPC networking
• Support for international supply chains.

Tom Cain, a professor of electrical, computer and telecommunications engineering at the University of Pittsburg, will lead the health-care and life-sciences program, focusing on how to reconcile choices between HF and UHF RFID technologies, and how to ensure 100 percent readability for electronic pedigree applications.

John Williams, director of research at the Auto ID Labs at MIT, will lead an EPC networking session. "The open-source EPC Information Service (EPCIS) initiative led by the Auto-ID Labs at MIT brings together a set of reference code, test tools and documentation to support the release of the EPCIS standard for describing things in the world," Williams says. "The EPCIS specification, which is more than 100 pages long, was constructed with input from multiple industries and hundreds of end-user companies in the EPCglobal standardization process in the course of several years. The MIT code base is designed to help companies familiarize themselves with the data-exchange approaches based on EPCIS standards, and to open opportunities for rich business intelligence analytics based on these new sources of data."

Bill Hardgrave, director of the RFID Research Center at the University of Arkansas, will lead a session on support for international supply chains. "The past three convocations have proven to be a good avenue for fostering some important collaborate efforts," Hardgrave says. "As a result, we have seen great projects among universities, and with private industry. However, we have much room for growth and improvement. Our vision is to use the continuing series of convocations to bring together the various parties, from across the globe, to work collaboratively on large-scale problems. We must find a way to address the big problems and find the commensurate funding sources."

Both academic events are part of a series of RFID Academic Convocations, driven by the Auto-ID Labs and organized around the world to build collaboration across academic disciplines, as well as institutional and geographic boundaries. These convocations concentrate on issues involving implementation and policy, providing participants with the latest strategies for RFID technical development and concrete pilots. Research directors and RFID project leads from academic research institutions addressing RFID requirements in Europe are invited to submit papers via e-mail to rfidconvocation@mit.edu.

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