EAB launches pan-European research consortium
16 March 2015 11:35 GMT

EAB-CITeR chair Dr Sebastien Marcel said the initiative would lead to “driven research”.

A pan-European research consortium that aims to foster links between the region’s academia, industry players and governments to improve regional biometrics innovation was officially inaugurated in London yesterday.

First revealed in January, the European Association for Biometrics has created the EAB-CITeR consortium on a model developed by the Centre for Identification Technology Research (CITeR) in the United States.

The plan is to link “partners” or universities and research centres with “affiliates”. Research is funded by affiliates through a yearly fee, and in return they receive a vote at the selection committee meetings and rights for further development and exploitation of research results.

The fees for becoming an affiliate at the consortium range from 5,000 euros (US$5,675) to 20,000 euros per year. Research activities are targeted by the participation of end users, while exploitation and commercialization opportunities are ensured by the participation of industry.

While companies get better, faster and cheaper access to cutting-edge biometrics research – and the resulting products - universities in turn enjoy improved access to firms and their funding.

Speaking at the European Biometrics Symposium on Wednesday, EAB-CITeR chair Dr Sebastien Marcel said the initiative would lead to “driven research”.

Max Snijder, secretary general of the EAB, added that the body will “lower barriers” towards European-led biometrics innovation, and that it will “fill a gap” in the EU.

Unlike traditional, long-winded research proposals, those created by EAB-CITeR partners need to just be two pages long – and be accompanied by simple, 15-minute pitches to the affiliates.

The US model has involved sizeable government involvement as affiliates, with sizeable agencies like the Department of Homeland Security playing an important role in both funding and direction.

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