RFID Research Center’s New Home
Radio frequency identification, or RFID, is the use of a wireless system to transmit data from tags on products to a receiver for the purpose of identifying and tracking the product through the supply chain.
“After seven years of intensive research into emerging technology in the retail supply chain, we’ve been able to build the most complete supply chain technology simulation facility operating today,” said Justin Patton, RFID Research Center Director. “RFID is currently undergoing a very rapid adoption cycle, and the new center will continue to serve as a jumping off point for most new RFID retail pilots. We now have the opportunity and resources to start combining RFID with other emerging retail technologies. This is where it gets really exciting. With the huge upheaval in physical retail stores as well as the addition of mobile purchasing and the internet, the supply chain of the future is being completely rewritten with a new focus on technology. The new center cements the University of Arkansas firmly at the forefront of these efforts.”
The new facility is a 20,000-square-foot existing warehouse space, roughly twice the size of its previous location. The expanded facility includes improvements to the demonstration, research and laboratory areas and means a larger scope for the center’s mission. New areas for the study of emerging supply chain and retail technologies are planned for future development, further expanding upon the current on-site educational opportunities for students and visitors. The facility also houses testing areas and office amenities for University of Arkansas RFID Research Center board member companies and associated businesses.
More than 30 industry-leading companies joined forces to found the research center with the University of Arkansas to support a multidisciplinary, neutral, third-party research and testing facility. The RFID Research Center officially opened its first laboratory on June 10, 2005, after receiving $2 million in total commitments from sponsors.
The RFID Research Center has collaborative relationships with researchers across the University of Arkansas, including the departments of accounting, economics, finance, information systems, management, marketing and supply chain management in the Walton College, the departments of computer science, computer engineering, industrial engineering, electrical engineering and mechanical engineering in the College of Engineering; the Center for Advanced Spatial Technologies and the department of public policy in the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences; the department of food science in the Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences; and the School of Law.