GS1 in Europe EPC/RFID Business Lab Network

“Share with smile, steal with pride, cooperate and create value!” Twelve European GS1 related EPC Labs have formed the Network supporting the adoption of RFID and EPC in Europe. The goal of the group is to contribute to the use of GS1 standards in businesses and improve the quality of RFID implementations. Sharing what is going on with RFID in each country twice a year is the fundamental mode of operation. Best practices are presented and taken into use. The forum is the place to get support and feedback from the GS1 EPC expert colleagues. It also gives an option to deeper one-to-one cooperation when similar or linked activities are identified.

The participants in the network typically come from organizations that are focused on boosting the adoption of RFID for example by means of consultancy, help desk activity, show room activity, seminars, training, projects, and on site testing directed to the potential customer companies. However, it is not necessary to run a RFID Business Lab in order to join the network – the group warmly welcomes all GS1 EPC adoption experts to its sharing meetings.

The group is focused on processes and business reasons for taking RFID technology into use in a company. Of course there are also interesting technical details in each case and sharing those also creates value.

RFIDLab Finland Association has been the GS1 in Europe EPC/RFID Business Lab Network project manager from 2011 to 2013. We activated the network and kept it up and running. Each Business Lab can benefit from the network when it plans its strategy and operations. You will get benchmarking and can discuss what others have learned to be useful services. In addition to the customers many of the Labs have some kind of partner network. We are also able to share what knowledge and capabilities the partner network members have.

One interesting discussion to highlight from the meeting in Milan was a Privacy Impact Assesment (PIA) round table. It was very interesting to see how the PIA required by EU has been taken into use in practice in each country, what kind of practical process has evolved and who are the involved parties from the government side. This is a good take away if your task is to get PIA going on in your country and nothing happens yet. A couple of countries have a process in place and a couple of assessments have been filed. In some countries the process is not in use yet even though RFID systems are taken into use. Maybe something more than a voluntary assessment needs to be on its way before companies that operate a RFID system start to do PIA or start to require it from their solution provider was an obvious conclusion in the group.

THE EUROPEAN EPC/RFID  BUSINESS LAB NETWORK CONSISTS OF: • RFID/EPCglobal Test CENTER in Austria and SloveniaLaboratoire RFID EPCglobal in FranceEuropean EPC Competence Center (EECC) in GermanyGS1 Italy LabNational EPC/RFID Laboratory in PolandEPC Competence Centre in SpainGS1 UK RFID Test CentreGS1 – EPC/RFID Innovation Centre in NorwayRFID/EPCglobal Test and Knowledge Centre at the Danish Technological Institute International RFID Laboratory Institute (RFID ILAB) in Czech RepublicRFIDLab Finland AssociationRFID Laboratory in Belarus
  • June 2011, Helsinki
  • October 2011, Budapest
  • March 2012, Oslo
  • September 2012, Milan
  • March 2013, Paris
  • October 2013, Helsinki
  • RFID at Valio dairy in Finland
  • Main directions in the development of RFID technologies in Belarus 2013-2015
  • RFID in French society
  • A short demo of the new RFID tag performance service at GS1 France
  • Wine traceability project in Italy
  • EPC/RFID in rail in Europe
  • RFID in food industry
  • Finnish RFID tax number card for construction

Jukka Wallinheimo

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