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New RFID solutions for logistics and industry

Through its many technology programmes, Tekes, the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation, endeavours to promote the development of networked business operations. One milestone in this development was the E-Business Logistics technology programme, ELO, which ran from 2002 to 2005.
The aim of the ELO technology programme was to develop logistics in order to improve the competitiveness and profitability of Finnish business and industry.

The ELO programme increased the use of RFID (radio frequency identification) technology in logistics solutions. For example, the programme facilitated the development of the world’s first RFID-based antenna identification solution around paper reels.

By utilising networks, an RFID testing environment was created within the programme to narrow the gap between technology and testing of services. The Finnish RFID industry is considered to have benefited significantly from the projects within the ELO technology programme and the creation of the RFID testing environment.

“The creation of different testing environments should be increased in these programmes, as they are a good way to bring different parties to a network with a common target,” says Mikko Valtakari, director, LTT Research Ltd. summing up that has carried out the evaluation of the programme.

The ELO-programme comprised 20 research projects and 52 enterprise projects, with more than 150 enterprises and 21 research organizations participating.

An evaluation report by LTT Research Ltd., commissioned by the Tekes Evaluation Team, assesses how successfully Tekes technology programmes have promoted networked business operations and how ELO, the E-Business Logistics technology programme, in particular, has succeeded in updating business models and strategies.

The programme did manage to develop logistic solutions for companies and their value chains, but generated fewer new products and services. The effects of the projects can be seen in customer satisfaction and delivery speed, in particular, but are a bit slower to show in areas such as net turnover or export.

Networking has clearly increased in the Tekes technology programme projects since the mid 1990s. The programmes have seen a shift from product development projects by one company to collaboration between several parties. The technology programmes have been particularly successful in promoting cooperation between companies and research organizations.

“According to the evaluation, future technology programmes should place more emphasis on the targets of network development. Also, in different types of networks and in different phases of the life cycle of a technology programme, different tools should be used. If the aim is to develop radically new business operations, visualisation and forecasting will be particularly important,” says Pekka Pesonen, Chief Technology Adviser of Tekes. On the other hand, internationalisation services and business programmes are assessed as being most useful to established basic business networks.

| alfa
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