As part of the UK Department of Trade and Industry’s (DTI) effort to encourage the establishment of a network of specialist radio frequency identification (RFID) technology centres around the country and also to play a key European role, it has invited AIM UK, the independent industry association representing RFID, bar coding and other automatic identification technologies, to lead the initiative.

Its role will be to develop the overall strategic plan for the development of the centres and determine the centralised services and deliverables that will be provided by the lead centre that will initially be housed at the AIM headquarters in Halifax, West Yorkshire, and sponsored by Yorkshire Forward. It will offer advice to companies on next generation technology for real time data tracking.

Plans are also progressing for the establishment of the European Centre of Excellence for AIDC, which will also be sponsored by Yorkshire Forward and AIM, and ultimately house the National RFID Centre. The plan has been initiated to take advantage of the global annual market for RFID systems that was approximately $1 B in 2002 with Europe accounting for around 40 percent of the market and the UK around 25 percent of the European figure.