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GRIFS, the EU funded project promoting closer co-operation between RFID standards organisations, held two successful meetings in Washington DC on June 30 and July 1st.
The first day meeting was a public event bringing together representatives from standard bodies, governmental organisations, trade associations and user companies. Presentations were provided by representatives of NIST, Johnson & Johnson, MIT and AIM Global, in addition to the project members CEN, ETSI and GS1. The speakers highlighted the need for a neutral Forum where standard bodies would have the opportunity to share information and develop synergies, thus reducing the overlaps and possible contradictions in their work plans.
On July 1st, the kickoff meeting of the GRIFS collaboration forum was held with representatives from ISO, ITU, IEEE, uID Center, AIM Global, AIAG, ODETTE as well as the three organisations coordinating the GRIFS project: ETSI, CEN and GS1. The meeting discussed the need for the Forum and reviewed the text of the proposed Memorandum of Understanding that will be submitted to the signature of standard bodies working on RFID standards.
Commenting on the successful GRIFS Forum kickoff meeting, Mr. Gérald Santucci, Head of Unit Networked Enterprise & Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), DG Information Society and Media, European Commission issued the following statement: "I congratulate the GRIFS partners for their recent achievement of a Memorandum of Understanding which identifies clear objectives and lays the groundwork for increased cooperation through a Forum between standardisation organisations in the RFID field. Today more than 250 standards describing RFID-related solutions have been established by around 30 different organisations.
It is therefore essential that standardisation organisations cooperate with a view to leveraging economies of scale and economies of scope. In line with its communication of 15 March 2007, the European Commission is willing to promote the interoperability of RFID standards across national and regional boundaries as well as across different economic sectors. In the fast-evolving world of RFID, every single standardisation organisation should be able to rise above the narrow confines of its interests to the broader needs and expectations of the whole user community. Over the past two years, GRIFS has been on the front lines of a global effort to achieve that aim by enabling the emergence of consistent and interoperable RFID related standards.
The European Commission praises the GRIFS consortium for its hard work and great deal of promise as it is clear today that the Forum will offer a great opportunity to advance interoperability of international RFID standards, while never duplicating but always complementing and synergizing the works being done in other relevant bodies. Such a cooperative strategy is most necessary to enable faster take-up and adoption of RFID within and across the various supply chains.“