Royal Philips Electronics and IBM have announced a major initiative to jointly develop customer systems for radio frequency identification (RFID) and smart card applications. Working together, the companies will combine their industry expertise to address the growing need for advanced high security smart cards and RFID technology in day-to-day business processes, operations and consumer lifestyles.

The key end-application areas that will be addressed are RFID solutions for supply chain management, retail and asset management, as well as smart card solutions for finance, e-government, transportation and event ticketing. Within the scope of the joint cooperation, IBM Global Services will also build an RFID system for Philips Semiconductors division manufacturing and distribution facilities in Taiwan and Hong Kong.

Speaking of the venture, Scott McGregor, president and chief executive officer, Philips Semiconductors, commented, “Our relationship with IBM will mean stronger time-to-market, improved customer confidence levels and the opportunity to leverage each others’ brands and expertise.”