The economic impact of RFID and Europe's competitive position


This study is part of the COMPLETE Project (2007-2010) whose aim is to analyse the future competitiveness of the EU ICT sector in emerging ICT technologies. COMPLETE is co-financed by JRC-IPTS and the ENTREPRISE and INDUSTRY Directorate General of the European Commission.



Validation Workshop

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Validation Workshop - 28 October 2009 (Brussels)

RFID is an increasingly important segment of the ICT industry, allowing for a manifold of applications in e.g. logistics, retail, manufacturing and access control. Clearly, RFID can impact strongly on both producing and using industries and on the competitiveness of European companies. Already by 2008, the total RFID market size was about € 3-3.5 billion and is projected to grow to about € 15-20 billion by 2018. The European market stands at about 20% of these figures, with a growing share. IPTS research shows that European technology providers, users and research centres have made Europe a major player in global RFID competition. Still, the US dominates the market, with large-scale infrastructure projects, first rank companies and R&D programmes, and a stronghold in standard setting and patents related to these standards. In Asia, Japan, Korea and Taiwan are already strong and China is likely to soon catch-up as a result of large domestic demand and industrial policy.

The purpose of this workshop was to assess Europe’s future competitive position in the RFID industry resulting from progress in these new technologies, as well as to discuss how EU policy could support in strengthening that position. Particular attentions will be placed on RFID item-level tagging and RFID for public transportation


Workshop documents:


Workshop presentations:

Setting the scene

RFID technological developments and market dynamics

Discussion: Potentially disruptive technological advances, their impacts on uptake and market size, overall, along the value chain, by type of application and by country/region

Impacts on using industries and hindrances for take up

Discussion: Return to investment in distinctive applications, specific barriers for SMEs. Privacy and Security issues

EU competitiveness: RFID supply and usage

Discussion: Current position and barriers to entry (including IP aspects) in hardware, middleware, software and integration supply; impacts of economic structure and policies on usage: EU vs. competitors

Policy initiatives in Europe

Discussion: Which policy measures can be taken to strengthen the European position in RFID?


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