UCC and EAN to Establish AutoID, Inc. for EPC Network Standards
UCC Finalizes Agreement with MIT
Forms Joint Venture with EAN International to Drive Standards for Electronic Product Code (EPC) Network
Orlando, FL, USA and Brussels, Belgium. May 21, 2003.
The Uniform Code Council, Inc. (UCC) and EAN International, leaders in facilitating efficient international business, announced today at the UCC's annual U Connect Conference, the intention to establish AutoID, Inc., a not-for-profit organization that will develop and oversee commercial and technical standards for the Electronic Product Code (EPC) Network. The EPC Network, based on research conducted at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), uses radio frequency in combination with a network system to allow items or products to be identified. This technology will enable companies to have true visibility of their supply chains in real time, in any industry, anywhere in the world.
AutoID, Inc. is an initiative between the UCC and EAN International. Both organizations have more than 25 years developing standards for the Universal Product Code (U.P.C.) and EAN13, now incorporated in the Global Trade Item Number (GTIN). Through the global standards of the EANUCC System, nearly one million member companies in more than 140 countries worldwide conduct business every day using bar codes and related electronic communications.
In his opening remarks at U Connect, Michael Di Yeso, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at the UCC, shared with the group of nearly 1,200 supply chain and logistics managers how the UCC and EAN International will bring this technology to market. "This is a natural, evolutionary step for the UCC and EAN International," said Di Yeso. "The UCC was one of the founding members to provide support when the EPC Network was just a concept. Now, with the technology nearly ready for market, the UCC and EAN International look forward to assuming the leadership role in enabling global companies to deploy this revolutionary system into their supply chains."
Because of its flexibility, EPC technology has positive implications for many industries across multiple sectors including high technology, fast moving consumer goods, healthcare, and transportation, among others. "We are very excited to begin developing the open and neutral standards necessary to make this technology real," said Di Yeso. "As with all of our programs, the UCC and EAN want this to be a collaborative effort with the business community, providing diverse applications for multiple industries." Di Yeso added, "We have a lot of work ahead of us, and one of the first tasks is to engage in dialogue with companies, and encourage them to join AutoID, Inc."
Miguel Lopera, CEO of EAN International, commented: "EAN International is thrilled to work with the UCC on this major initiative. We believe the EPC Network will add unprecedented benefits to the supply chain management of the users of the EANUCC System." He continued, "EAN International, along with their 99 Member Organizations, are uniquely positioned to help globalize the AutoID, Inc. initiative."
"We are at an important juncture for this technology, and the UCC and EAN International have the expertise and track record to drive commercialization and adoption of the EPC," said Dick Cantwell, Chairman of the Board of Overseers for the Auto-ID Center and Vice President at The Gillette Company. "Standards are vital in how business is conducted today and are critical to making the EPC Network a reality," said Cantwell.
The EPC Network was developed by the Auto-ID Center, a not-for-profit global research project headquartered at MIT. In addition to a research lab at MIT, the Center has established research facilities at Cambridge University in England, Adelaide University in Australia, University of St. Gallen in Switzerland, Keio University in Japan, and Fudan University in China.
"We knew that our research would one day migrate from the lab to real world applications," said Sanjay Sarma, co-founder and chairman of research at the Auto-ID Center and professor in the department of mechanical engineering at MIT. "That day has come, and we are pleased to work with the UCC and EAN International not only to bring this technology to market, but to continue to refine it in the future." AutoID, Inc. will continue to work closely with Professor Sarma and lead researchers at the Center's sister labs around the world.
UCC's executive team was also announced at the conference. As President, Ms. Dicki Lulay will drive the initiative in North America. The AutoID, Inc. joint venture team will be finalized in the near future.
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About the Uniform Code Council, Inc.
The Uniform Code Council, Inc. (UCC) is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the development and implementation of standards-based, global supply chain solutions. Under its auspices, the UCC operates two wholly owned subsidiaries, UCCnet and RosettaNet, and it co-manages its global EANUCC System with EAN International. UCC-based solutions, including business processes, XML standards, EDI transaction sets, and the bar code identification standards of the EANUCC System are currently used by more than one million member companies worldwide. For more information about the Uniform Code Council, please visit www.uc-council.org.
About EAN International
EAN International is the global not-for-profit organization that creates, develops and manages EANUCC standards jointly with the Uniform Code Council, one of its Member Organizations. These are open, global multisectoral information standards, based on best practices. By driving their implementation, EAN International and its Member Organizations play a leading role in improving supply and demand chain management worldwide.
Uniform Code Council
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