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Europe's RFID Focus Moves to Implementation

At RFID Journal LIVE! Europe 2007, attendees and participants indicated the technology's adoption in Europe is on rise.
By Rhea Wessel
Nov 09, 2007At this week's RFID Journal LIVE! Europe 2007 conference in Amsterdam, attendees showed that RFID deployments and adoption plans are strong in Europe, and getting stronger. More than 300 technology vendors, end users, standards setters and investors gathered for three days of training, lectures and networking. Attendees hailed from a variety of countries, including Turkey, Estonia, Taiwan, India, Israel and the United States. (Click here to hear a podcast overview of the event, including comments from PowerID marketing director Elan Freedberg, Tarun Sharma of RFID Ready and Itzik Parnafes of Stata Venture Partners Israel.)

Throughout three blustery days spent at a conference center and hotel overlooking the IJ River, numerous speakers illustrated how they or their customers are using RFID. Two speakers compared the European RFID market with that of the United States. Ashley Stephenson, chairman and cofounder of Reva Systems, described the regional market share of RFID sales. "We hear 'a third, a third, a third' for the Americas, EMEA [Europe, the Middle East and Africa] and Asia," he said, adding, "I am seeing higher growth rates in Europe and Asia at the moment."

Stephane Pique, director of EPC RFID at GS1 in Europe, a collaboration of 41 GS1 member organizations, told attendees, "I would not say that we are adopting slowly in Europe. Actually, we have a lack of communication. In the United States, 80 percent of projects are communicated and 20 percent are kept under wraps; in Europe, it's the other way around."

Pique cited a report from the E.U.-funded BRIDGE (Building Radio Frequency IDentification for the Global Environment) project, predicting the number of passive RFID tags in use annually in Europe will rise from the present level of 144 million to more than 22 billion in 2017. He added that European membership in EPCglobal, GS1's RFID standards-setting body, rose by 30 percent during the past year.

Those attending the conference said they were there for a variety of reasons. Indrek Ruiso, CEO of the ELIKO Competence Center in Electronics, Info and Communication Technologies, an independent research organization based in Tallinn, Estonia, said he wanted to find out what end users implementing RFID typically face in terms of real-life, everyday problems. Tanhu Dizgec, the business development manager for Security & Informatic Technologies, an RFID systems integrator based in Istanbul, Turkey, traveled to Amsterdam hoping to learn about RFID products and services that he could eventually sell to his own customers.

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