Biometrics Industry Association – Consolidating and Strengthening the Biometrics Industry Biometrics, or Human Identity Technologies, concerns technologies that make use of human characteristics to assist the process of human identification. Biometrics include fingerprints, retina and iris scans, speaker recognition, hand palm scanning and may even extend to the use of DNA profiling. Human identity technologies have been used as access technologies, in forensic applications, and in security and authentication. However, a mismatch presently exists between the state of the technology and its large scale deployment thus limiting this high-tech industry which is expected to grow rapidly in the light of the various security concerns of the modern era.

The biometrics industry extends from research and development institutions, through hardware, software and infrastructure developers, biometric capture service providers, verification and authentication authorities, system integrators and expert consulting services and to the wide variety of corporate end-users. Consolidating and attracting industries active in these diverse areas creates the desirable environment and opportunities for economic growth based on high-value technologies and services.

A workshop was held at the University of Malta on the 12th of October, organised by Total Trust Solutions Ltd and Identity Solutions Ltd in collaboration with the University of Malta to discuss the creation of a biometrics industry association and a knowledge-transfer network bringing together industry, academia and research institutions working in this sector. The workshop was attended by representatives from the government civil service, private biometric system vendors and consultants, international e-payment application software companies, the police force, EuroMed Institute of Technology and Innovation (EuroMedITI), Malta Enterprise and the University of Malta. During the workshop, Total Trust Solutions Ltd and Identity Solutions Ltd announced that an international workshop on biometric technologies is scheduled to take place in Malta in February 2007. Several action points were agreed during the workshop, but perhaps the highest impact decision was the agreement to work towards incorporating a Biometrics Industry Association in Malta inviting biometrics industry and biometrics research institutions in Malta and around the Mediterranean basin to join and work together to create an effective value chain for this market, act as a catalyst for the creation of a knowledge-transfer network to assist in matching emerging biometric technologies with the market needs and create an effective biometrics industry lobby in the Med and in the EU. A steering committee for the Biometrics Industry Association was set-up with the brief to create the association in the coming months and invite the participation of biometrics industries – from technology providers, through system integrators, to corporate end-users.

A workshop session in progress