HOT on the heels of its first conference, GS1 New Zealand has a plan to establish an RFID cluster group.
Made up of individuals representing a cross-section of industry, corporate and academia, the cluster will meet regularly to share information, drive pilots and research on national developments and implementations.
GS1 New Zealand manager for strategic initiatives Gary Hartley says establishing the group is a good way to go forward.
“It occurred to us that New Zealand is at each end of the international supply chain and having a group of like-minded people is the way to go,” he says.
Hartley says the cluster will integrate with a similar Austra-lian group in order to access other networks.
“The cluster will happen, the first meeting should be in a month and then we can put some structure in place. A lot of companies want to be involved.”
The Victorian government funds the Australian group, established last year, but Hartley says the New Zealand government hasn’t made a similar offer.
“It would be nice to think so, wouldn’t it? This government is keeping a watching brief on development and in the future we may present a business case for funding.”
He adds that GS1 has invited New Zealand Trade and Enterprise to join the cluster and are now waiting on a response.
GS1 New Zealand has also established a scholarship with the University of Auckland to fund a PhD student with financial and resource assistance for a three-year research project.
Valued at around $54,000, the project will look into the use and application of RFID technology within the New Zealand business context and will have a strong focus on the electronic product code.
Hartley says GS1 chose the University of Auckland because of its strength in supply chain management in logistics.
“It’s a strategic move on our part to have research going on while RFID is an emerging technology.” The project will begin towards the end of this year.