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EU Initiatives

Within the IST’s program framework, several projects have been set up.

European future visa and passport (travel documents)

The EU plans the introduction a new EU visa embedded with a wireless chip carrying biometric information by 2005.
The original proposals for improving passport security were submitted in September 2001 and adopted by the European Parliament in the regulation five months later. However, the latest proposal set out by the European Commission not only intends to speed up the roadmap set out in regulation 334/2002, but is designed to further improve the security of EU visa and passports. The proposal recommends that visas contain a digital image of the holder so that facial recognition technology can be used to aid the identification process. As a secondary measure, two fingerprints of the visa holder would also be stored in a wireless chip that is embedded within the document.

The proposal states: "The most appropriate storage medium is a contactless microchip. The microchip is necessary for the storage of the biometric information and the security code (PKI digital signature)".
A Communication on harmonised secure passports in the EU is being prepared by the European Commission.


EU Drivers Licence

Adopted in October and publication in December of a Directive to generalise the plastic card type model of European licence. This model allows for higher protection against fraud. Current paper driving licences will not be exchanged but will stop being issued from the date of application of the new legislation. Member States can equip the new driving licences with a microchip including the information printed on the card to reinforce further anti-fraud protection. The technical specifications remain to be established by the Commission through the Committee procedure in order to safeguard future interoperability.


NLIS: EU Livestock database

Established to meet livestock identification and traceability requirements mandated by the European Union (EU) in 1999, NLIS is the largest and most sophisticated livestock database and management system in the world. NLIS livestock producers are required to positively identify cattle. To meet these requirements, These RFID devices feature read / write capabilities, allowing producers to add, change, or retrieve details relating to each animal, such as health information, farm location history, market eligibility, and commercial information, on the spot.

In addition to compliance with EU guidelines, other advantages of such a multi read system include more accurate tracking and data capture, faster processing time, decreased labour costs, and more efficient communication throughout the entire supply chain.

SIT - safe and secure intermodal transport: an ERTICO project

The main objective of the SIT network is to enhance the attractiveness and efficiency of freight intermodality by developing an overall approach on safety and security. The project will establish a forum for international co-operation and information exchange between the different relevant authorities, research organisations and market players. The project funded through DG Tren, started in January 2003 and is expected to last 36 months.
• Cluster existing RTD projects
• Identify emerging technologies
• Enhance the exchange of data and information between national, international (US) and European research programmes
• Promote co-operation on a policy level.


FLEX SI ( Ultra Thin Packaging solutions using silicon)

This project held from January 2001 to June 2002 aimed at the development of different ultra thin electronic packaging solutions and flexible electronic assemblies which will on the one side improve existing products (in mobile telecommunications and medic approvisions) and on the other side enable totally new products with hidden electronics.
Therefore it is necessary to develop wafer thinning, handling and shipping techniques.
Demonstrators from different applications using these ultra thin packaging technologies have been assembled and qualified:

  • mobile telecommunications device employing MCM-L
  • hearing aid use chip-on-chip
  • identification system with chip-in-paper.


This project held from January 2001 to June 2002, aimed at developing an RFID Tag System with multi-read capability and very small RF tags with read / write memory while achieving a never reached cost/performance level. LAUREL targets industrial mass market applications which have clearly identified immediate needs and for which costs benefit can be reached rapidly.

Successful introduction of LAUREL in the laundry industry will provide the critical mass required to cut tag production cost and facilitate the penetration into others markets.


The Passive Long Distance Multiple Access high Radio Frequency Identification System project was held from January 2001 to October 2002. It aimed to develop a low cost effective long range passive RFID system solution for world-wide use, especially under existing EU radio limitations. The target application was a pilot installation within the paper industry.


The objective of TRITTON, held from October 2000 to July 2001, was the implementation of a Trial Application in a real production environment using the solution Tag Flow system. This solution based on a RFID intelligent Tag which was developed for the Retail sector, was applied for the first time in a production environment. The user of the Trial had identified this solution as the best to improve some essential aspects in its production processes.

The main goal of TRITTON was to obtain a distributed system, where the communication nodes have the capability of getting some kind of data (tag reading, anological or digital inputs or outputs) and work autonomously.


The objective of Triangle is to bring proof of concept for a simple, workable and manageable interoperable solution for door to door travel (bringing together payment, ticketing and access to services) using existing technology and/or installed infrastructures. This solution is based on smart card technologies that allow to host chips transport tickets or others applications such as electronic purse and access to services. Triangle will be compatible with ongoing programmes from the partners and professional institutions. This proof of concept will involve 3 cities ( Brussels, London and Paris) and the international service rail that link them. The interoperable facility between major capitals cities in Europe exploiting an advanced high-speed train link between them allows the proof of concept to be particulary credible.
The project has been set up between January 2001 and December 2002.

For more information on these EU projects, visit the website: