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ID Forum conference in Abu Dhabi breaks records

ID World : 23 February, 2009  (Company News)
The Citizen ID Forum from Wise Media including the NFC academy conference proves to be a resounding hit in the United Arab Emirates
Wise Media's Citizen ID Forum opened its doors in Abu Dhabi on February 15 under the patronage of UAE Minister of Interior H.H. Sheik Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan. The second edition of the two-day conference and exhibition in the Middle East proved to be an overwhelming success with 382 high-profile participants (+21% compared with 2008) the highest attendance on record for any ID WORLD Forum since their launch in 2005.

Building on the achievements of events held in Berlin, Rome, Paris, Istanbul and Milan, the ninth summit on government-driven citizen ID programs opened its doors for a second time in Abu Dhabi. The event took place with the endorsement of the European Commission and was supported by the Emirates Identity Authority and Abu Dhabi Police.

Once again the event substantiated the fact that it is the platform of choice for experts from government, border control and law enforcement, as well as technology vendors, to discuss and learn more about the key issues relating to the introduction of digital citizen identity credentials worldwide. One of the highlights of the event saw a panel of GCC government representatives addressing the significant issues and opportunities related to Citizen ID programs that are being deployed in the region.

The Citizen ID Forum welcomed an array of world-class panelists to review the status of the progressive digitalisation of passports as well as National IDs, driver¹s licenses, health cards, resident permit cards and visas worldwide. The high calibre profile of participants included representatives of the UAE Ministry of Interior, the UAE Minister of Presidential Affairs, the Director General of Emirates Identity Authority, the Director Central Operations Abu Dhabi Police, the Director General of the Ministry of Foreign Trade, Bahraini Central Informatics Organisation, Pakistani National Database and Registration Authority, Sudanese Ministry of Interior, the Kenyan National Registration Bureau, Saudi Arabian Ministry of Interior, the European Commission, the German Federal Ministry of the Interior, the Belgian Federal Public Service of Interior, the Danish Ministry for Science, Technology and Innovation, the Chinese Government Academy of Sciences and the US Department of Homeland Security.

Sagem Sécurité, Thales, Arygon Technologies and Multicard sponsored the 2009 Citizen ID Forum.

On the second day of the Citizen ID Forum in Abu Dhabi, Wise Media launched the NFC Academy, a yearlong global networking platform for the stakeholders involved in the development and deployment of Near Field Communication based solutions. The formation of the NFC Academy Advisory Board was also announced during an official ceremony preceding the inaugural NFC Academy Conference that took place on February 16. The names of the NFC Advisory Board members were unveiled in the presence of H. E. Darwish Al Zaraouni, Director General at Emirates Identity Authority.

- Michael Hegenbarth, Senior Director of Standardization and Consulting at Bundesdruckerei (Germany) said: "The inaugural NFC Academy Conference was so well attended and the discussions were so lively that they reminded me of a workshop rather than of a conference. The fact of organising such an event in this region and the unprecedented aim to inform also the government sector of the potential that lies within NFC applications were excellent choices for the foundation of an initiative of lasting value:"

- Koichi Tagawa, NFC Forum Chairman and General Manager of Global Standards and Industry Relations Department at Sony (Japan) said: 'Wise Media's NFC Academy offers a chance for open dialogue and informative exchanges with notable experts and decision makers involved in the development and deployment of NFC, one of today's most exciting and innovative wireless technologies. I am honoured to be a supportive element of these conferences through my participation on the NFC Academy Advisory Board."

- Sertaç Özinal, CEO at BKM Interbank Card Centre (Turkey), said: "I would like to congratulate Wise Media for the perfect timing of the launch of NFC Academy. There is no doubt that NFC will play a dominant role in the Payment Systems Sector all over the world within a short period of time. I believe that NFC Academy will be an effective place to promote and share knowledge, ideas and even standards for NFC projects, develop guiding principles and best practices in the international arena, generate and maintain dialogue with other organisations that touch upon the NFC sector, provide research and thought leadership to participants in the NFC economy and so many other benefits. There is no need to mention that I will do my best to contribute to NFC Academy."

- Tinboat Arslanouk, Director of Business Development at du Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (United Arab Emirates), said: "This first NFC Academy Conference offered a highly interesting interactive format that I was delighted to contribute to with my active participation. I will gladly continue to be a part of this new community throughout 2009 and look forward to supporting the organisers to expand their reach in the Middle East, looking ahead to the next NFC Academy event in Abu Dhabi in early 2010."

Throughout the upcoming NFC Academy events happening in Paris on May 29 and in Milan on November 4-5, the NFC Academy will gather researchers, pioneer developers and advanced practitioners in the areas of mobile applications, short-range communication and contactless security to educate the market and foster the adoption of NFC technology. Each event will host a conference and live demonstrations that promote an open exchange of ideas on the deployment and growth of NFC technology in the field of contactless applications including access control, ticketing and mobile payments.

With the record numbers and outstanding satisfaction expressed by participants, the second Citizen ID Forum held in Abu Dhabi sets a new benchmark in ID WORLD Forums. The event will open its doors again in the United Arab Emirates in Q1 2010. The valuable discussions that took place in Abu Dhabi will continue at the Citizen ID Forum conference at the ID WORLD International Congress, the eighth annual world summit on automatic identification, in Milan on November 3-5, 2009.

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