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Innovation

RFID project report due in July

Uptake of radio frequency identification (RFID) technology could receive a major boost in July with a report on an important commercial trial to be presented to government. GS1 Australia, a non-profit supply chain standards body, will present findings and recommendations from its national demonstrator project (NDP) to a yet-to-be-determined government minister following its conclusion in four to six weeks.
Written by Steven Deare, Contributor on
Uptake of radio frequency identification (RFID) technology could receive a major boost in July with a report on an important commercial trial to be presented to government.

GS1 Australia, a non-profit supply chain standards body, will present findings and recommendations from its national demonstrator project (NDP) to a yet-to-be-determined government minister following its conclusion in four to six weeks.

The project has been funded via the Department of Communications, Information Technology and the Arts' Information Technology Online (ITOL) program.

The NDP has seen RFID deployed in a full-scale supply chain operation since September, with consumer goods companies Gillette and Proctor and Gamble participating. The Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC) has also been involved in the running of the pilot, which could add to the influence of the report on industry.

Fiona Wilson, general manager, standards development, GS1 Australia, told ZDNet Australia the report would provide examples from the NDP as to where there was a business case for RFID and the GS1 system.

"The point of the NDP was to prove such a network could work," she said.

"We wanted to tease out potential business cases. So if I'm a brand owner, how could I use an [RFID] network to help my business?"

There was plenty of interest from GS1 and AFGC members in the NDP and the upcoming report, Wilson said.

"I will say it's been very easy to get participants for this project, so much so that we've had to knock a couple back, cause we can't restart the project.

"End users want to get involved because they really think [GS1 and RFID] will be good for their business."

There was also the potential for the NDP to be expanded in a second phase, according to Wilson, but details were yet to be confirmed.

While GS1 promotes its own identification system for RFID, Wilson said the report would still be a critical look at the technology and where it fits business operations.

"We're looking across the whole supply chain. Not every area of the supply chain will benefit from RFID."

GS1 was a non-profit organisation and not driven by vendors, she said.

"We're promoting [the project] because our members have asked us to investigate the technology."

The report, to be freely available, will be launched at GS1's Impetus conference on July 25 in Melbourne.

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