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Biometrics - bridging the gap between academia and industry

Various Speakers

Roundtable discussion, 18 May 2012, Savoy Place, London

22 May 2012  News

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About the presentation

Despite the fact that increasing numbers of governments and companies are turning to biometrics, a gap often remains between what happens in the research laboratory and what is required to turn good ideas into practical systems.
Encouragingly, there are already some good links between academia and the biometrics industry, and there is a healthy track record of innovative, fast-growing companies spinning out from universities in the UK and elsewhere.
However, opportunities are still being missed for closer collaboration.
The IETs new peer-reviewed research journal, IET Biometrics is intended to provide a natural focal home - a centre of gravity around which engineers and scientists will gather initially but it is hoped will also be attractive for everyone else in the field of biometrics.
In this filmed discussion, Professor Mike Fairhurst, editor-in-chief of IET Biometrics along with colleagues from academia and industry consider whether biometrics is a done deal with much of the technology now finished, where the future real innovation will take place and can the research and industrial communities really work together in the years ahead.

About the speaker

Sean Geer, ex-managing editor, Wired
Sean Geer is a writer, author and former journalist. He was a technology journalist and editor from the late 1980s, and was managing editor at Wired magazine in London in the early 1990s. He is now self-employed and has written for a variety of magazines, newspapers and websites, including The Economist and Financial Times. He is also the author of various books, such as The Economist Books' Essential Internet.

Professor Michael Fairhurst, editor-in-chief, IET Biometrics
Mike is professor of computer vision at the University of Kent and is a well-respected authority on biometrics. He has published numerous papers on image analysis, handwriting analysis and biometric processing. He was a co-ordinator of the IRIS project that involved a number of UK universities and biometrics companies working together to develop biometrics technologies that help reduce crime.

Dr Lynne Coventry, University of Northumbria
Lynne is the Director of PaCT Lab (Psychology and Communication Technology) at the University of Northumbria. She is best known for her work on usable security, particularly biometrics. Her research interests are varied and she is currently involved in research exploring the role of communication technology in the lives of older adults to facilitate mobility and inclusion, the role of trust in student's use of online information, the usability of medical products and the design of usable security. She is an applied researcher who enjoys working in multidisciplinary teams to solve real problems. The majority of her career has been as a researcher at NCR, working to incorporate understanding of people and their use and acceptance of self-service technology into the requirements and design process. During this time she was very involved with understanding user acceptance, usability and accessibility of biometrics including fingerprint, palm vein, face and iris into the self-service domain.

Jim Slevin, Transport Business Unit Manager, Human Recognition Systems Ltd
Jim works for HRS, which builds biometrics systems for private sector clients. Jim's area of focus is the transport sector. HRS was set up in 2001 and Jim has worked there since 2008. Before that he spent over 20 years working in IT and security for BAA and Heathrow Airport.

Peter Waggett, IBM
Dr Waggett has been Chair of the BSI's Biometric Standards Group since 2007 and is editor of the ISO biometric vocabulary standard. He has been a member of IST/44 since 2002 and is also Programme Leader for IBM's Emerging Technology Group. He has extensive experience of innovative IT systems, including research into image processing at University College London and the Marconi Research Centre. His work in the field of biometrics at IBM includes responsibility for the delivery of innovative systems for a range of government and commercial organisations. He was the biometric subject matter expert for a range of projects and clients including the successful IBM bid for the UK's biometric matching system. Dr Waggett is currently involved in biometrics research projects at the University of Surrey.

Clive Reedman, Unilink
Clive has been involved in human identification since 1980. He began in the Fingerprint Branch at New Scotland Yard and was added to the Register of Fingerprint Experts in 1984. In 1993 he was seconded to the UK Home Office where he helped build the User Requirement for the NAFIS System. He then joined the Police IT Organisation (PITO) in 1999 when it took over the NAFIS Project. With PITO he headed up the Police Service Biometrics Strategy. Clive was Chairman of the International Association for Biometrics for a number of years and has also owned his own consultancy business, which assisted companies come to market by bridging the gap between academia and industry. He is now Project Manager for Unilink Group, a leading supplier of IT solutions to the public and private sectors.

Nicola Davis, The Times
Nicola is a freelance science writer who contributes to The Times' 'Eureka' magazine. In the past she has written for The Guardian and Times Higher Education Supplement. She has an MChem and DPhil from the University of Oxford.

Holly Else, reporter, Professional Engineering
Holly has worked for Professional Engineering since July 2011, reporting on all aspects of the engineering sector, having previously spent three years working for a healthcare trade magazine.

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