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Hong Kong Center Aims to Put China at the Forefront of RFID Growth

The LSCM currently provides support to approximately 30 RFID projects involving more than 100 businesses and local universities.
By Dave Friedlos
Aug 18, 2009The Asia Pacific region is expected to experience high growth in RFID revenue due to rapid adoption of the technology in China, India, Thailand, Taiwan and other countries. In a report published in June 2009, entitled "Asia Pacific RFID Market," Frost & Sullivan cited market revenues of $569.7 million in 2008 for the region, predicting that figure would reach $2.17 billion in 2015, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 21.1 percent.

Anticipating significant potential benefits in leading RFID adoption, the Hong Kong government (HKSAR) established the Hong Kong Logistics and Supply Chain Management Research and Development Center (LSCM R&D) in April 2006. Funded by the HKSAR government's Innovation and Technology Commission, the LSCM is run by the University of Hong Kong, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. Its role includes conducting industry research; providing technology and market intelligence; offering a platform for the exchange of intellectual property and technology; promoting technology development, transfer and knowledge dissemination; and assisting in the commercialization of technology.

Chung Jen Tan
The center currently provides financial support to approximately 30 RFID projects involving more than 100 businesses and local universities. Chung Jen Tan, the organization's chief executive, says the center's goal is to strengthen Hong Kong's economic competitiveness, as well as improve its technology leadership in the logistics and supply chain management industry.

"The LSCM provides a one-stop service for applied research, technology transfer and commercialization," Tan says. "Organizations ranging from large manufacturers, small and medium-sized enterprises, to overseas technology enterprises can participate in the center's industry and technology programs. As of July, more than 600 industry and technology players from Hong Kong, mainland China and overseas have joined as members. And each April and December, the center solicits project applications on specified R&D topics to break down technology barriers in hardware, software, systems and network design and development."

Projects funded by the LSCM range from the use of RFID for tracking air freight to monitoring personnel in underground mines, as well as electronic seals (e-seals) to secure ocean cargo containers. Earlier this year, the center provided HK$12.86 million (US$1.66 million) for the development of a lightweight near-field ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) RFID reader chip for mobile applications. Most passive UHF RFID tags and interrogators operate in the far field, enabling an interrogator to read and encode tags more than 10 meters (33 feet) away. Near-field interrogators and tags, on the other hand, have a read range of only a few centimeters.

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